Wallace keen for another crack at Origin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallace keen for another crack at Origin

By Wayne Heming 18/12/2008 05:44:30 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane halfback Peter Wallace can't afford to slip up on or off the field this season if he hopes to achieve his goal of playing State of Origin again in 2009.

Wallace came from the clouds to snatch the NSW Origin No.7 jumper for the first two games this year before a nasty testicle injury ruled him out of the series decider.

Playing Origin was clearly the highlight of Wallace's debut season with the Broncos.

Getting arrested for disorderly behaviour outside a Sunshine Coast hotel in November while celebrating his 24th birthday was clearly the low point.

Brisbane were under siege at the time following a number of alcohol-fuelled dramas.

Three star players were the subject of sexual assault allegations, of which they were subsequently cleared by police.

Club captain Darren Lockyer had been forced to publicly apologise for an incident involving a hotel employee during a night out on the drink with teammates.

Wallace knows he was fortunate to get off with a fine when the club could have jumped on him.

Fortunately for him they had not invoked a new code of conduct which will see future offenders face the sack.

"I'm glad it's behind me and I know I've been given another chance which I'm thankful for," said Wallace on Thursday.

On a more positive note, Wallace says his Origin experience has made him keen to start the season firing.

"Origin was definitely the highlight," he said after another impressive skills session.

"I still can't believe that I actually played Origin to be honest."

Learning from retired great Andrew Johns was invaluable and Wallace's impressive kicking game in Origin I had the Johns polish all over it.

"What I learned off Joey (Johns) and Craig (coach Craig Bellamy) was massive," he said.

"Missing out on that third one really hurt, definitely my goal next year will be to get back into the (Origin) squad.

"It won't be easy because there's a number of good halfbacks around who could play there but it is definitely one of my goals."

Like all the Brisbane players, Wallace is eagerly awaiting the arrival of young try-scoring sensation Israel Folau.

Folau's ability to climb above his opposition and use his massive frame could tempt coach Ivan Henjak to play him on the wing, although he may team up with his Queensland Origin teammate Justin Hodges in the centres.

Both Wallace and Lockyer will seek out Folau with their bombs, taking advantage of his amazing aerial skills which were almost impossible to combat in 2008.

"Look at the backline, it's nearly an international backline with him there," enthused Wallace who expects his combination with Lockyer to be even better next season.

"It's one of Israel's major strike weapons, going up high for the ball.

"He's awesome in the air so I don't think it's a secret we're going to be trying to cash in with that."

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