I am no Origin liability, says O'Donnell - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

I am no Origin liability, says O'Donnell

By Ian McCullough 05/05/2010 01:44:21 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland enforcer Luke O'Donnell has slammed suggestions he is too much of a liability to play State of Origin and is determined to help NSW end Queensland's series dominance.

O'Donnell has made just four Origin appearances since making his debut in 2006, with injuries preventing him from completing a full series and ruling him out of the 2007 and 2008 campaigns.

The 29-year-old former Test star, fresh from a three-game suspension, will play for NSW City against Country on Friday in Port Macquarie, and bristled at accusations his aggressive style was too much of a risk at Origin level.

"I think my style of play is probably well suited to the intensity of Origin, and the penalty count against me when I have played has not been that bad," O'Donnell told AAP.

"Unfortunately I have been tagged with a reputation which can go against me, but I am pleased to be picked in the City side as it shows I am in the minds of the selectors.

"I play hard but I don't play dirty and anyone who says that I am a liability doesn't know what they are talking about."

O'Donnell was named in the starting line-up for the Blues in the opening games of the 2006 and 2009 series. His toughness is well suited to Origin and NSW coach Craig Bellamy is a known admirer.

However, questions marks were again raised about his temperament following the suspension he received for a grapple tackle on Wests Tigers fullback Beau Ryan and verbally abusing match officials in the Cowboys' 23-16 round five defeat.

This followed an seven-game ban in 2008 for two separate striking charges and abusing a sideline official.

O'Donnell admitted his brain snap in Townsville was in frustration in what has been a difficult start to the NRL season for his side, and nothing to do with the memories of the horrendous injury he sustained against the Tigers in 2007.

That incident saw O'Donnell suffer three hamstring tendons ripped off his pelvis after a "wishbone" tackle by three Tigers players.

However, the big second-rower said there are no problems between him, Robbie Farah, Keith Galloway, Chris Lawrence and Bryce Gibbs, the four Tigers players who will play alongside him in the City line-up.

"I don't have an issue with any of them, we are teammates for his game and we want to win and do our best for the team," he said.

"They are all very good players and I am looking forward to playing with them."

"I think I have gone OK for NSW when I have been selected and I would love nothing better than another chance to have a run against Queensland this year."

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