The challenge for any State of Origin camp is how to bring players from different teams and backgrounds together in a short amount of time but according to Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues vice-captain Dale Finucane a little Q and A can go a long way to breaking the ice.
Finucane revealed to Channel Nine’s The Sunday Footy Show how new halfback Mitchell Moses bonded with his new teammates after being brought into camp to make his debut following a shoulder injury to No.7 Nathan Cleary.
Despite this being his first camp, Moses already knew some of the players, including his Parramatta teammates Clint Gutherson and Junior Paulo and NSW Blues captain James Tedesco from their days together at Wests Tigers.
“He knows a lot of the guys in the group already, so he’s got some good relationships there which puts him in good stead,” Finucane said.
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It’s no surprise that Tedesco and Moses had such an exciting combination, considering the pair previously lived together, and their friendship was one that was tapped into to help the rest of the team get to know their new halfback.
“(NSW Blues High Performance Manager) Hayden Knowles likes to do a Q&A, so the guys get to know each other a bit more quickly,” Finucane said.
“It was very funny to hear those guys (Tedesco and Moses) talk about each other, and we got to learn a bit more about Mitch which was good.”
Replacing a player of Cleary’s calibre is no easy task, although according to Finucane, it’s a role which the Eels star has relished in.
“He’s been really good,” he said.
“The one thing you want from your halfback is that they’re a good communicator.
“He’s really communicated well and he’s very vocal among the group.”
With Finucane stepping to lead the Melbourne Storm in the post-Cameron Smith era, he’s played a huge part in helping them climb to the top of the NRL ladder.
When the time came to find a new vice-captain after Cleary was ruled out, NSW coach Brad Fittler had no hesitation in giving Finucane the role.
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Despite his confidence in Finucane, the Storm co-captain was surprised he got the call-up.
“It’s very special,” he said.
“Missing out on Nathan is very disappointing and we’ve got a great captain in Teddy.
“To come into camp and be vice-captain, it’s unexpected but it’s something I’ve embraced in the group and I’m really looking forward to playing the game.”
Finucane will be hoping to help lead the Blues to a clean sweep against the Maroons on Wednesday night in what would be the first 3-0 series win for NSW since 2000.