Blues add Maroon flavour to Origin camp - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues add Maroon flavour to Origin camp

By Steve Jancetic 08/07/2009 06:18:36 PM Comments (0)

If imitation is the best form of flattery, then NSW certainly have a high regard for their State of Origin rivals after staging a Queensland-style bonding session designed to instil some pride in the sky blue jumper.

Hot on the heels of taking up Queensland's lead in setting up camp on the Central Coast, the Blues on Tuesday night invited 40 former Origin greats for a get-together with the current NSW squad.

It was a page straight out of the Queensland's playbook. The Maroons are the masters of using heroes from campaigns past to ensure modern-day players understood what Origin matches were all about.

Now it appears the Blues are finally getting up to speed.

"In comparison (with Queensland) our attempts at driving the former player involvement has been fragmented," former NSW and Test backrower Brad Clyde admitted.

"But that's not to say our culture is any better or worse than Queensland's culture.

"All the players I spoke with last night really want to be involved. They've all given blood, sweat and tears for the sky blue jersey and they want to continue that tradition."

There was little in the way of sweat when the current squad got down to business at Wednesday's training session however, with several players failing to take part as they rested the bumps and bruises picked up in the weekend's round of the NRL.

With no training set down for Thursday, the Blues aren't expected to have their first run until Friday when coach Craig Bellamy is tipped to reveal whether Michael Jennings or late addition Josh Morris will line up at right centre.

Both are specialist left-side centres, but one will be asked to switch to the right to replace Jamie Lyon and face the unenviable task of marking a rampant Greg Inglis.

Far from daunted by the prospect, Morris said he was grateful for the opportunity after Lyon was ruled out with ankle injury on Tuesday.

"I loved the taste of Origin that I got last time even though it was short but I'm looking forward to going up to Suncorp," Morris said.

"When you get an Origin jumper you want to hold onto it, so I'll go out there and try and do my best, put in a good performance and try and keep it in the selectors minds for next year."

Morris failed to make much of an impact in limited opportunities in Origin II, but he believes the extra playing time plus the addition of Bulldogs teammates Brett Kimmorley and Michael Ennis to the NSW set-up will leave him better placed to leave his mark in game three.

"Noddy (Kimmorley) and Mick, there's some familiar faces there and they've both been playing well so hopefully we can keep that combination going," Morris said.

"(And with) Haynesy (Jarryd Hayne) and Michael Jennings there, there's some strike players out wide so hopefully we can get a lot of ball movement and try and worry them out wide."

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