Sydney Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner says he's humbled to hear former State of Origin greats have backed him to replace Paul Gallen as NSW Blues skipper for this year's series.
The 24-year-old is only two games into his new role at the Roosters but is considered one of the favourites to get the nod at state level according to former Blues Anthony Minichiello, Danny Buderus and several others.
Speaking to media on Monday morning outside Roosters HQ, Cordner – who has played six times for the Blues – said simply making the NSW side would be an honour itself, with the prospect of leading the side an exciting bonus.
"It's pretty humbling, to tell you the truth," he said.
"As a kid, or even now, you dream of playing State of Origin. But to be thrown up to be captain – especially with some of the past players also throwing up your name – you don't really know how to feel. I suppose it's pretty exciting.
"It's only Round 2 so I'm not going to get too far ahead [of myself]. I'm just happy being selected and pulling on that sky blue jersey. That's a dream come true in itself.
"Obviously I've got to be playing good footy myself. That's what motivates me at the start of the year, and then when it comes closer to Origin, it becomes a bit clearer and you want to strive to play in that NSW team."
The decision to promote Cordner to the co-captaincy role at club level has paid immediate dividends with the Tricolours unbeaten after two rounds.
The hard-running edge forward praised his fellow co-captain Jake Friend for helping him adjust to the new position, and also thanked several other club captains for teaching him new things while on the Four Nations tour at the end of 2016.
"It's been really good, to tell you the truth," Cordner said of his new role.
"It hasn't changed the way that I play or the way I go about my business at training or when I'm playing, it's just the extra responsibility of talking to the ref and making those pressure calls. It's good having Jake there to help me with that as well.
"With players like Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and the likes [on tour], it's good to see how they go about their business. They've been there and done all of it before so it would be silly not to take it in and sponge a bit off them."
This article first appeared on NRL.com