Cherry-Evans the new Gidley for Kangaroos

21 November 2013 12:06 PM

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Australia coach Tim Sheens believes Daly Cherry-Evans can step into Kurt Gidley's former role as the Kangaroos' Mr Fix-It after being pleasantly surprised by the playmaker's versatility.

Manly halfback Cherry-Evans looks to have secured the bench utility spot in Sheens' World Cup side after impressing in Australia's past three games.

The 24-year-old played full games at halfback and five-eighth in the group stage and spent time at centre and hooker after Billy Slater was injured in last week's quarter-final win over the United States.

The way Cherry-Evans has handled being shuffled around has prompted Sheens to compare him to injured star Gidley, who is known for his ability to cover almost any position on the field.

A tournament-ending injury to utility Luke Lewis has given Sheens' some headaches about providing injury cover for his outside backs, but the coach feels Clive Churchill medallist Cherry-Evans is up to the task.

"There's a lot more of a Gidley look about him than maybe before he came on tour," Sheens said of Cherry-Evans, who also spent time in the back row for Queensland in the State of Origin series.

"He doesn't panic if you go out and say to him, 'go and play in the centres or play on the wing, or play at fullback'. He can handle it."

Newcastle star Gidley has come off the bench in 11 Tests for Australia, including in the mid-year clash with New Zealand in April, but injuries have cruelled his past couple of seasons.

With Cherry-Evans likely to have to bide his time to oust either Cooper Cronk or Johnathan Thurston for a starting halves role for Australia, he could make the utility spot his own if 31-year-old Gidley does not return to the side.


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