Andrew Johns had no shortage of special moments during his decorated career and now the Rugby League Immortal believes the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues are on the verge of something special themselves for the opening game of the Holden State of Origin series.
The Blues put the finishing touches on their preparations with a captain’s run at Suncorp Stadium today with just over 24 hours to go before they tackle Queensland at the same ground and in front of a hostile crowd tomorrow night.
Johns is part of the coaching staff employed by Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler that also includes advisor Greg Alexander and assistants Danny Buderus and Craig Fitzgibbon.
He has spent most of his time in camp analysing the Blues attack at training and has also worked on the kicking games of Nathan Cleary and the goalkicking of Cleary and Latrell Mitchell.
“It’s funny, normally I’m really nervous, even when I wasn’t involved, but I’m just really calm,” Johns said.
“The hard work’s been done, they know their job so I think something special is going to happen.”
The Blues preparations have been relatively seamless with the only concern centring on backrower Tyson Frizell after he was heavily concussed in a NRL game before receiving the all clear from the Blues medical staff on Sunday to take his place.
Fittler picked five debutants for tomorrow night’s game – Cody Walker, Jack Wighton, Payne Haas, Cameron Murray and Angus Crichton – and told nswrl.com.au it was time for them to stand up and deliver in the pressure-cooker atmosphere at Suncorp Stadium after winning the Shield last year.
“Everything they’ve done at training this week suggests they’ll play the game of their life but you’ve got to get out here and do it under pressure,” Fittler said.
“Only time will tell if we do that well.”