Gallen fears nothing - except kick-off - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gallen fears nothing - except kick-off

David Beniuk 06/06/2011 06:08:47 PM Comments (0)

Not much is bothering NSW captain Paul Gallen about his move to the front row for State of Origin II next week, apart from the kick-off.

Gallen on Monday declared himself ready for the move from lock to prop and was even confident he could add some kilograms before Wednesday week's ANZ Stadium must-win clash with Queensland.

It's just those kick-off returns that are part of the front-rower's job that are bugging him.

"All I remember as a kid is I wanted to get home to watch the first run off the kick-off because the bloke usually gets hammered," Gallen told reporters.

"That's about the only thing I've thought about."

Gallen will join just two specialist props, 21-year-old Trent Merrin and 23-year-old Tim Mannah, in Ricky Stuart's new-look Origin II side.

The Cronulla enforcer said he could add to his 104kg before June 15 to try to combat Queensland's 105kg Matt Scott and 108kg Petero Civoniceva.

"I rang my trainer yesterday and I said, 'You realise now I don't have to watch what I eat'," Gallen said.

"I came back for the last pre-season at about 110 kilos.

"I've got no problem with putting on weight if I want to.

"I don't know how much Timmy Mannah weighs but I know I weigh more than Trent Merrin so I don't think it's going to be a problem.

"I can easily get myself to 106-107 kilos by game time and I don't think Matt Scott or Petero are too much heavier than that."

Gallen already boasts the workrate of a prop - he ran for 166m in 19 hit-ups with 41 tackles in the Sharks' loss to Brisbane on Friday night.

"If you have a look at the numbers that I do on the weekend, I do more than most anyway," he said.

"I'm just going to go play my game."

Stuart clearly has a new game-plan in mind after the Blues were busted up the middle by the Maroons big men in game one at Suncorp Stadium.

The coach picked six regular backrowers, including Gallen, in his 17 and the skipper said the Blues would look to speed up their play around the ruck.

"Obviously when you bring someone like Birdy (lock Greg Bird) in tight and Anthony Watmough off the bench, there's a lot of leg speed there around the ruck," Gallen said.

"That might be what Sticky wants, a bit more leg speed around the ruck and some quicker play the balls."

Gallen, though, is not going to over-complicate his role.

"It's the simplest job on the field really, you've just got to be the toughest," he said.

"All you do is run hard and tackle, you don't have to worry about passing, kicking, telling blokes where to go.

"It's simple in the mind, it's just tough in the body and that's just what I've got to do."

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