Two-time series-winning captain turn Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues assistant coach Danny Buderus has declared the Blues would be up for the task of defending their Origin crown against Cameron Smith and the Queensland Maroons should the Melbourne Storm captain come out of representative retirement.
Smith, 35, quashed rumours on Thursday of a possible return to the Origin arena following injuries to key players Daly Cherry-Evans and Jake Friend but Buderus said the Blues would be ready for him if he changed his mind between here and the opening game at Suncorp Stadium on June 5.
“One thing we won’t do here at New South Wales is worry too much about what Queensland are going to do because we’ve just got to make sure that we’re prepared for everything… because that’s what Queensland give you,” Buderus told nswrl.com.au.
“Everything, for every minute, for every second of the game. We’ve got to be prepared for anything.”
When asked if ‘anything’ extended to the possibility of a Smith return, Buderus had no hesitation in welcoming the challenge. Smith wouldn’t be the first star player to come out of representative retirement with Queensland’s Allan Langer and Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler enjoying memorable Origin comebacks.
“I’d love to see (Smith return), it would be great for the game, great for the theatre of Origin,” he said.
“Our game is made of stories. For the greatest number nine to come back and to help his beloved state, it’d be unreal.
“It’d be a great challenge for all of us here to take that on.”