Jacks brings ‘Cronk’ control
He speaks to the coach during the week from 1,700 kilometres away and has only one training session a week with his team but such has been the development of Ryley Jacks this season that Sunshine Coast Falcons captain Dane Hogan has compared his influence to that of Cooper Cronk.
After sitting sideline for the Storm's preliminary final clash with the Broncos on Friday night Jacks will on Saturday fly to the Sunshine Coast to join his Falcons teammates for their final run through prior to Sunday's Intrust Super Cup Grand Final against the PNG Hunters at Suncorp Stadium.
A former Queensland under-18s representative who played 49 NYC games for the Sydney Roosters in 2011-2012, Jacks played one season for the Newtown Jets before returning to Queensland, first signing with the Easts Tigers and then joining the Burleigh Bears with the hope of earning an NRL call-up with the Titans.
Last year he joined the Falcons and earned not only the club's player of the year award but a one-year contract with the Melbourne Storm, the 25-year-old making his NRL debut in Round 1 and playing 12 top-grade games this season.
When he hasn't been turning out for the Storm Jacks has been flying to the Sunshine Coast to take charge of the Falcons' premiership push and was central to their dominant 40-14 win over Redcliffe in last Sunday's preliminary final.
"He was a great calibre of player last year but you can tell since he's gone down into the Melbourne Storm system and getting all those NRL games at the start of the year has been amazing for his confidence," said Falcons skipper Dane Hogan.
"What he brings back you could compare to Cooper Cronk for what he's doing at Melbourne down there.
"He just comes back and steers the ship around really well. Everyone knows their jobs outside him so it makes it a lot easier."