Jamie Soward tells baggers to bring it on

Jamie Soward is used to being bagged by the crowds.
Jamie Soward is used to being bagged by the crowds.


Wally Lewis was booed when he ventured into enemy territory, so Jamie Soward says he is not bothered when he cops howls of abuse from opposition crowds.

The Penrith playmaker is preparing for a verbal bashing when he returns to his old stomping ground of WIN Stadium against his former NRL club St George Illawarra on Sunday.

When the Panthers played the Dragons in June it was the first time he had come up against the side since departing Kogaragh midway through last year.

However, Sunday's game will be the first time he has run out in a Panthers jumper in front of the Red V faithful.

Soward was a part of the Dragons set-up for seven years, helping the joint venture to its first premiership in 2010, before parting ways last season following a form slump.

The 29-year-old has experienced a revitalisation since moving to Penrith, helping them to third on the ladder.

He said his preparation for Sunday's match had been helped by the fact he had come up against the Dragons earlier in the year.

He described himself as an "emotional player" but said he would have no nerves in his return to WIN Stadium.

Asked if he was worried about being booed by the crowd, he said it was no different to any other week, likening it to the way Brisbane and Australian great Lewis was jeered everywhere he went.

"I'm sure I'll get bagged," he said. "I get it everywhere mate ... I don't mind. Wally Lewis used to get bagged everywhere and he turned out to be a pretty good player."

Soward was forced to play a greater hand in the side's win against the Bulldogs last Friday night following a season-ending knee injury to halves partner Peter Wallace.

He was shifted from his usual five-eighth position to halfback in an attempt to accommodate rookie halves partner Will Smith.

Soward has had a handful of games at No 7 this season but has not played there regularly since 2008.

He was critical of his previous performances at halfback this year but said he took a big leap last Friday night.

"I thought I handled it better on Friday." - AAP


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