Boyd Cordner has culminated into the player that others want to play with. He is synonymous with relentless hard-work and standing up when the moments count – both core values of a natural-born leader.
So when he leads the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues onto the hallowed turf of the MCG tonight, alongside 11 debutants and six other teammates who all share the pain of last year's defeat, rest assured he is the right man for the job.
"It's a massive honour to be named captain again of this new footy side," Cordner told NSWRL.com.au. "It's always been a dream just to play State of Origin, but to lead this side with some fresh faces is something I can't even imagine.
"It's a huge honour and I'm ready to do my job."
Cordner is no stranger to adversity; he was earmarked as one of the game's brightest prospects at just 16 years old and has carried the weight of expectation ever since his debut for the Roosters in 2011.
After a series victory was in arms' reach last year, Cordner admits it was a significant learning experience as a player and captain. It will only galvanise the 25-year-old to do whatever it takes to inspire his side from the first whistle and until the last.
He will not let his state down.
"I'm always learning and wanting to be better as a player and as a leader and there is something I can take out of last year's series - the good and the bad.
"I'm definitely better for the experience and it's heartbreaking to lose like we did in Game Two and Game Three [last year], but we've got a lot of new faces and it's and exciting time for NSW."