Frizell Leading Blues' Generation Next
Tyson Frizell says he was embarrassed by the positive publicity he received in the aftermath of the Blues' Origin II loss despite making a barnstorming New South Wales debut.
Blues coach Laurie Daley said Frizell's chase to almost prevent Dane Gagai from scoring an 85-metre intercept try was something that would be used to inspire NSW teams for years to come.
While Frizell's strong State of Origin debut was one of the few bright spots to come from the Blues' Game Two loss, the man himself was keen to play it down.
With veteran Greg Bird dropped from the side, Frizell will now make up a relatively inexperienced back row alongside Josh Jackson and Wade Graham for the Game Three.
However the trio cannot rest on their laurels with the injured Boyd Cordner and development players Jake Trbojevic and Bryce Cartwright waiting in the wings.
"I'm not thinking about (Game Three) from an individual sense. I just want to do my part for the team but it's true there's a stack of back-rowers there that are coming through," Frizell said.
"They're all playing well at the moment and I guess anyone could be picked at the moment so I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity again. I just have to make the most of it.
"It's embarrassing for me that I've read some good things about my performance but it's something I don't want to really cop either especially with us not winning and not levelling up the series.
"Don't get me wrong, it was an experience I'll never forget and something I really enjoyed being a part of. I definitely want to be a part of it for the years ahead too but what the loss has done has left me with a bit of hunger there to want to do well."
The Blues have undergone a changing of guard over the past two series when it comes to the make-up of their back row, with Jackson the only constant in that period.
Bird is the latest casualty, following the likes of Ryan Hoffman, Beau Scott and Trent Merrin.
Jackson praised Bird's contribution to the Blues.
"Birdy has been massive for New South Wales for the past however many years," Jackson told NRL.com.
"He adds a lot of aggression and passion to the team. He's an older head and Birdy's experience is massive for our confidence too if nothing else.
"It'll be interesting to see how we go without him. It's a new era. We've had a host of younger guys so hopefully we can go out there and not let anyone down."
While embracing the cutthroat nature of representative footy, Jackson said he was grateful for the time spent with the aforementioned veteran quartet and said he was out to live up to the legacies they've left behind.
"It's always good to be around guys that have been doing what you've wanted to do for such a long time. You can pull different things from all of their games, from the way they prepare and train for Origin as well," he said.
"It's amazing to see how different individuals prepare for different situations. All of the veterans who have played in the past 12 months who aren't around for this game, they're all professional guys.
"So running out for this game, I'll definitely be thinking of those guys and not wanting to let their legacies down."
This article first appeared on NRL.com
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