There’s a fight brewing in Brisbane this week.
Queensland takes on New South Wales for the opening match of the State of Origin series and the Blues have some world class support in their corner.
Christopher Steele reports.
The Blues have arrived in Brisbane ahead of Wednesday night’s game and have turned to World Champion Boxer Danny Green for some fighting spirit.
Danny Green, World Cruiserweight Champion: “There is a great feeling within the camp, Ricky Stuart has got the boys fired up. Very calm but a very confident feeling in the camp, just a real feel good vibe around the boys. So it’s fantastic to see and the fact that I’m going to see the first game of the series up here in Queensland, it’s going to be mad.”
But it’s going to take more than tough talk if the Blues are to end their misery at the hands of the Maroons, which now stretches back to 2005. They’ll be hoping returning centre Mark Gasnier can make the difference this year, as he returns to Origin for the first time since 2008.
Mark Gasnier, Blues’ Centre: “Look, and this may sound funny to you all, but we haven’t really spoken about the result. We’re confident that what we do, and what we want to do, the result will go our way.”
Much has been made about the inexperience of the Blues’ line up, with coach Ricky Stuart omitting star players Jarred Hayne and Jamal Idriss from the squad. But Gasnier says that could work in the Blues’ favour.
Mark Gasnier, Blues’ Centre: Well you’ve got to remember a lot of those people haven’t been a part of those five series losses, so they probably don’t have the scars and the baggage that a lot of those people have. I know I myself, a couple of you journalists asked me earlier on in the week about the past fiver series, I’ve only been a part of one, maybe two I think, yeah 06 & 08.”
But New South Wales aren’t the only team taking a chance with youth. Maroons’ hooker Cameron Smith says he’s confident Queenslands’ debutants Jaral Yow Yeh and Dane Neislen have what it takes.
Cameron Smith, Maroons’ Hooker: “They’re both very good players, they wouldn’t be playing for Queensland if they weren’t playing good football for their clubs. I know Dane, being in my side, I’ve seen him go very good jobs on quality centres, I think he’s on Jennings on Wednesday night so you know he’s already handled him this year.”
While the Maroons are looking for an unprecedented sixth straight series win, New South Wales and Danny Green are looking for knockout victories of their own.
Christopher Steele, QUT News.