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Nervous wait for everyone

By Laine Clark 28/06/2004 08:08:38 PM Comments (0)

It was a nervous wait for the NSW hopefuls before the Blues' Origin III rugby league team was named on Monday - for everyone except Brad Fittler.

One of the worst kept secrets was revealed on Monday when Fittler received a final chance at a storybook farewell to his representative career when retained by NSW selectors for the series decider at Telstra Stadium on July 7.

But Fittler said he knew "for a couple of days" that he would have one last crack at a fairytale swansong after a quiet word with Blues mentor Phil Gould.

"I heard it off Gus (Gould). He told me a couple of days ago - I wouldn't put myself out there if I was going to be dropped," Fittler laughed.

After coming out of representative retirement for an injury-plagued NSW in Origin II, Fittler said he would "give it a couple of weeks" before deciding on whether to play Origin III.

"Before the game (Origin II) I was just going to do it the one time and after the game a few boys came up to me and said 'well you've got to play in the last one'," he said.

"After a week I just said to Gus 'if you need me I will be willing to play'."

Gould said Fittler was always going to play Origin III.

"As I said before game two he's committed himself to the series ... when he made himself available for game two he said 'I'm here until you need me' and we need him," he said.

NSW chairman of selectors Bob McCarthy said Fittler was the first picked.

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