RUGBY LEAGUE: Sunshine Coast Falcons ball player Ryley Jacks has revealed he could've been a Wests Tiger in 2017 before Melbourne Storm signed the talented half to a one-year deal.
The Falcons' leading try-scorer in 2016 has been in talks with NRL clubs for much of the season, after he helped guide the Falcons to its first finals appearance since 2010.
As Melbourne's back-up half Blake Green prepares to join Manly in 2017, and with mentors such as Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and master coach Criag Bellamy to guide him, Jacks said Melbourne was the perfect fit.
"(Cooper's) my idol. He went to my school (St Laurences) and I grew up idolising him and to be able to go down there and learn from him is massive,” Jacks said before declaring he didn't want to play for an Intrust Super Cup side other than the Falcons.
Melbourne contracted players are split between the Falcons and Brisbane Easts.
"I love the Falcons now. I reckon we could go better next year,” he said after the side bowed out in last weekend's preliminary final at Redcliffe.
Jacks has tasted life at an NRL club in the past when he played under-20s for the Sydney Roosters in the National Youth Competition.
Tigers coach Jason Taylor played a big part in Jacks' early career when he was at the Roosters and Jacks admits to talking with the 2005 premiers.
"They were interested ... but they're sorted with back-up halves and Melbourne weren't,” Jacks said.
Storm will play the Raiders in tomorrow's second preliminary final at AAMI park, where it can earn a berth in its seventh grand final since 1999.
"They could probably end up winning the competition ... everyone knows Melbourne are the most consistent club,” Jacks said.
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