State of Origin is still half a year away but the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues are wasting no time in preparing for the highly-anticipated 2019 series.
A quick video looking back on the 2018 Origin achievements and team lunch was on the agenda for the Blues extended squad at a team-building exercise on Friday, wrapping up their successful year under new head-coach Brad Fittler.
Fittler led a team gathering that included talks about the series, praise, and lots of laughter among the young group, the first time many have seen each other since Game III of the Series.
Meeting up today, with State of Origin I not until June 5, Blues five-eighth James Maloney told NSWRL.com.au, "It's important for the guys to stay in touch.
"We run into each other outside of this but to get together as a group, it's good."
Catching up in a room full of their teammates and coaching staff, conversations were endless and spirits high heading towards the pre-season Christmas break.
The fact that everyone was picked on form, everyone was playing confident footy and I think that was a big factor.James Maloney
Maloney credits the "enthusiasm brought to the joint" by the younger players introduced into the team and said this was different compared to other series he's been involved in.
The culture that was created is promising for the Blues' future, with all of the players from the winning series this year selected in the 2019 squad.
"The fact that everyone was picked on form, everyone was playing confident footy and I think that was a big factor," Maloney said.
Confidence will be a key aspect for the playing group moving forward with the likes of Luke Brooks and Victor Radley selected in the Emerging Blues squad, who gathered for a training session on Thursday.
Maloney's younger teammates at his NRL club, Penrith, are part of Generation Next: Waqa Blake, Shawn Blore, Jack Hetherington, Dylan Edwards and Moses Leota. The Panthers No.6 said they could definitely push through to Origin in the near future.