NERVES: Jamal Idris returns to the NRL with Wests Tigers on Friday night after an 18-month break from the game.
NERVES: Jamal Idris returns to the NRL with Wests Tigers on Friday night after an 18-month break from the game. Mark Metcalfe

Idris faces rare bout of nerves

BY Friday morning, a usually laid-back Jamal Idris could be anything but.

The Wests Tigers star has admitted nerves are stirring ahead of his NRL comeback in the round-one blockbuster clash with South Sydney on Friday night.

"Ask me Friday morning. There'll probably be a couple (of nerves)," Idris told reporters on Monday.

"I never get nervous and that's the funny thing.

"I remember the trial game, the week building up to it, everything I did, just thinking about it, I was getting sweaty. I ran out before the game and my legs were shaking."

Idris is expected to line up in the centres on Friday for his first NRL match in 18 months.

He's likely to take the place of Tim Simona, whose rugby league career is under a cloud over a betting scandal.

It follows Idris' decision to take a break from the game at the end of the 2015 season while at Penrith in the midst of an inconsistent career which included State of Origin honours with NSW but criticism over his fitness.

While there are high expectations for an improved Tigers to push for the finals after narrowly missing out in 2016, Idris believes it could be months before he returns to his best.

"Beforehand, I always used to be laid-back. I ran out there to have fun. But I said to myself, and I said it publicly, 'I want to see how good I can be'," Idris said.

"So that's putting pressure on myself.

"I've almost had two years off. It's going to take a lot to get back into it. That's going to come over time. It may take five rounds, it may take 10.

"The first three weeks are going to be massive for me. I need to get back in touch with the game."

News Corp Australia


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