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Staines feared he’d thrown NRL shot away

Penrith teen sensation Charlie Staines feared he’d thrown away his NRL shot when he breached the NRL’s strict biosecurity rules just hours after his debut.

Staines has already experienced more in two NRL games than some do in their whole career.

His six tries in his first two games is the most by any player in 83 years, while he now at least four weeks on the sidelines with a recurring hamstring injury.

He’s almost sent a pub broke in the NSW Central West after they offered free beers for every try he scores.

But he’s also created the wrong headlines, handed an enforced two-week stint at home last month after having 10 people visit after his four tries on debut.

The 19-year-old ended the night in hospital with lockjaw, prompting bigger biosecurity concerns after he didn’t notify the club when it struck at 2am.

“Yeah, of course (I was concerned I wouldn’t get back in),” Staines said.

“Anyone that comes into this team performs well. Mal (Watene-Zelezniak) did that last week.

“And I was just pushing hard and training by myself at home during the two-week break.

“It was a silly mistake from me in the first place, I shouldn’t have done what I did.”

Staines admitted he didn’t quite understand the NRL’s rules, which at the time allowed for 10 visitors in a day but only five at any one time.

His lockjaw will also qualify as the more bizarre injury of the year, after the issues first began six months ago.

“I got hit in the pre-season,” Staines said

“It has been playing up ever since then. And then it was playing up on me two weeks ago.

“It just stayed out for too many hours and I had to go to hospital.”

On the field though, he’s been turning heads for the right reasons. And fast.

He already appears one of the NRL’s quickest out of the blocks, with a history in athletics as a youngster from Forbes.

His turn of speed – which has now caught both Cronulla and Manly out – has forced halfback Nathan Cleary to adjust, knowing the rate at which Staines hits the ball.

“He is absolutely lightening, that’s why everyone calls him the Ferrari” Cleary said.

“You look at him and Sauce (Josh Mansour), Sauce is so strong.

“He won’t like me saying it but he’s not very fast. Super strong in yardage carries.

“Then you’ve got Charlie on the other side who isn’t quite as strong in yardage carries but is lightening.

“And if you get him ball in space you can let him go.”

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