Stewart eyeing Minichiello's spot - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stewart eyeing Minichiello's spot

By John Coomber 14/06/2007 05:48:27 AM Comments (0)

Brett Stewart hopes to turn his late call-up into the Blues side into a permanent job as NSW fullback.

Stewart took a phone call from his Manly coach Des Hasler late on Monday night to tell him to pack his bags for the Blues' Origin camp across town.

He was a late replacement for Anthony Minichiello and showed he was not overawed in his Origin debut by scoring the opening try nine minutes into the game.

He was disappointed to be on the losing side, but now knows he has what it takes to survive at this level.

And while he wishes Minichiello no harm, he is looking to capitalise on the chance he has been given.

Karmichael Hunt took Minichiello's Test fullback jumper when the Roosters star injured his back last season and now Stewart is in position to take his Origin jumper in the same way.

"It's a few weeks now before the third game," Stewart said.

"Fingers crossed, but I feel a little bit sorry for Anthony, having last year off as well.

"I think I had a pretty good game, but it would have been much better if we'd won, obviously.

"I was a little bit nervous, but it was probably a good thing only having two days' preparation."

Stewart said senior players like Willie Mason and Jamie Lyons made him feel welcome and did their best to encourage him.

"The try settled the nerves, which was good. I didn't expect to get one so early," he said.

"They tested me early with a few high balls and (Matt) King helped me a fair bit running off the ball."

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