Brydens Lawyers NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler has said he is ‘excited’ by the number of the Blues that have been selected to represent the Australian Kangaroos in the Test against New Zealand, claiming it is a just reward for all the hard work they’ve put in this season.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga named 11 players from NSW to face the Kiwis at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday, including eight who represented the Blues in this year’s Origin series.
The team also includes four debutants in NSW Origin players Damien Cook, James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell and emerging Blues star Luke Keary.
“I’m really excited for them because they were given an opportunity and they just took it,” Fittler told NSWRL.com.au
“They’ve made some hard decisions, trained hard, and it’s just a great example of what can happen to you as a footballer if you decide to do it.”
Fittler also took a gamble this season after naming a record 11 debutants for the opening game of the Origin series, with Cook and Mitchell now going on to make their debut for their country.
Other NSW players who will represent the Kangaroos include Tedesco, Tom Trbojevic, David Klemmer, Boyd Cordner, Jake Trbojevic and Tyson Frizell, Keary and Jordan McLean have been tagged as future Blues stars, while Aaron Woods has represented his state in the past.
The extended bench even includes two Blues from this year’s series in Tyrone Peachey and Reagan Campbell-Gillard.
“Damien Cook is an unbelievable story,” Fittler said.
“Every now and then you have a bit of luck dished out if you’re there to take it and you’re fit and healthy and you’re not distracted.
“Teddy was battling away at the Tigers and then made some changes, Keary is a brilliant story, and Latrell is the talented one that just trained hard and worked hard.
“It’s just a good story they’re all NSW kids.”