PLAYERS | Michael Jennings

jennings-michael

Panther 463

122 matches [2007-2012]

284 points [71 tries]

Stats: themightypanthers.com/players_jennings-michael.htm

Mount Druitt junior who burst on to the NRL scene for the Panthers as a 20 year old early in the 2007 season. His lethal pace was put to good use, scoring 15 tries in his rookie season and being awarded the Player of the Year award at season’s end.

Jennings’ strike rate in the 2008 would be slightly lower but yet again the centre would be the club’s top try scorer and made his representative debut by playing for Tonga in the World Cup.

2009 would see him club’s top try scorer for the third consecutive year (with one in particular being memorable against the Roosters, where he fielded a kick in the in goal, side stepped a couple of defenders and then ran 100 metres untouched). It would also see him make his New South Wales debut, playing Games 1 and 3 in the State of Origin series, and then being selected in the Australian Four Nations squad at season’s end, making his Test debut against France, where he scored a hat trick.

Jennings would continue to be a regular selection for New South Wales as well as keeping up a healthy try scoring rate, crossing for 16 tries in 2010. In 2011 though it dried up significantly to just the one try in 2011. Whilst he notched up 100 matches that season for the Panthers, separate disciplinary reasons saw him first dropped to the Windsor Wolves reserve grade team (from which he remarkably gained selection for New South Wales) and then later in the season suspended.

There was a return to form in 2012 with Jennings crossing for 10 tries, and for the fourth season be the club’s top try scorer.

However, throughout 2012, there were persistent rumours that circulated about his future at the club. In early 2013, Jennings was released to the Roosters. He would later move to Parramatta in 2016 and has spent the last five years at the club up to the end of the 2020 season. At the end of that season, he was was suspended for alleged doping offences and in 2021 accepted a three year ban, effectively ending his NRL career making just under 300 appearances.

Last updated 23 November 2021

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