Try-hard Gallen eyeing Blues captaincy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Try-hard Gallen eyeing Blues captaincy

By Steve Jancetic 01/07/2010 07:21:44 PM Comments (0)

Paul Gallen was told he was overlooked for the State of Origin series opener because he tried too hard, but now back in the sky blue, the NSW enforcer has the captaincy in his sights.

In what would be a remarkable elevation after he was deemed surplus to requirements for game one, Gallen said he would love the opportunity to lead NSW into a new era in 2011 as the Blues look to end Queensland's unprecedented run of dominance.

"Of course, you'd love to be NSW captain," Gallen said.

"It's a big honour to captain any team but to captain your state would be unreal, I'd certainly love to do it."

The thought of that occurring would have seemed absurd just a matter of weeks ago, but so too would the possibility of the Blues naming their skipper on the bench for game two before passing it to a player in Trent Barrett who is set to play his last Origin in Wednesday night's dead rubber.

For now though Gallen is just thankful to be back in the squad, a spot he knows he could never take for granted.

Shocked at his omission for game one despite having played for Australia just weeks earlier, Gallen found some solace in NSW coach Craig Bellamy's explanation.

"He just said he thinks I try too hard at Cronulla and come up with some errors that he didn't want at Origin," Gallen said.

"He's probably right ... (but) I think I performed pretty well at Test and Origin level.

"It's a different game for me and I'm probably more comfortable coming in here because I know I only have to do my job rather than being at Cronulla I probably do try to do everything.

"Obviously I was disappointed ... I think I had something to offer for game one but it wasn't to be. If I had have spat the dummy over it my form at Cronulla would have dropped and I wouldn't have been picked for game two."

Now back where he belongs, Gallen doesn't want to go anywhere.

Normally the man the Blues look to for some aggression, you also get the sense Gallen is happy to have the likes of Anthony Watmough and former Sharks teammate Greg Bird by his side, meaning he doesn't have to carry the can on that front on his own.

Either way, his inexperienced teammates will still look to Gallen for leadership, but perhaps even more so next year.

With new Sharks coach Shane Flanagan having already stated he plans to reinstate Gallen as Cronulla captain should Barrett, as expected, retire at the end of the season, the workaholic backrower will no doubt be a prime candidate to lead the Blues next season as well.

Gallen was stripped of the Cronulla captaincy last year after a string of on-field incidents - which included making a racist remark against Dragons forward Mickey Paea - an incident he believes cruelled his chances of being anointed to succeed Danny Buderus as Blues captain for the 2009 series.

"It was the week before Origin was picked and I had an incident that happened and I was Cronulla at the time and I probably thought I was a fair chance of getting it then ... my name was tossed up and I did think about it back then," Gallen said.

"When I lost the captaincy at Cronulla, I haven't really thought about it since then."

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