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Determined Talakai itching for another crack at Queensland

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks centre Siosifa Talakai feels the improvement and maturity building in his game will hopefully provide him with another opportunity for the Westpac NSW Blues.

The blockbusting centre made his Origin debut in 2022 playing Games Two and Three, but felt he didn’t perform to his potential when the Blues lost the series 22-12 in the decider at Suncorp Stadium with two handling errors from his 23 minutes on the field.

“Personally, I feel it’s the pinnacle – two great states, the best players from the whole competition pretty much, clashing head-to-head,” he told

“I’d love to be a part of it again and in saying that I didn’t think I put my best foot forward in that last game, Game Three. I felt I let the team down, and my state down.

“If I get the opportunity again, I want to give it my all and give it my best crack – put on a performance I can be proud of, and my teammates can be proud of.”

The 25-year-old played off the bench in both games, with his 100kg frame allowing him to play in the centres or back-row.

“It definitely helps being versatile,” he said.

“The way the game is going it’s good if you can play multiple positions because people get injured, get a head knock.

“It helps my chances, or anyone’s really, if you can play a few roles. That helps the team.”

Talakai is having his normal impact in the Sharks opening four games for the 2023 NRL season. He’s not yet scored but has three try assists and 13 tackle-breaks.

He has back-rower Teig Wilton on his inside, and speedster Ronaldo Mulitalo on his outside, in a fairly potent Sharks left edge.

“I’m not too focused on getting tries…Ron’s got a couple so I’m happy to give the ball to him,” Talakai said.

“Teig is very under-rated. The work he does goes unnoticed from an outside perspective but we teammates know what he’s like – you just can’t fault him.

“He’s reliable and always there in support, same as Ronny.

“He’s real quick. I just try to get a head start before I pass him the ball.”

The Mascot Jets junior appreciates what they are both teaching him, and also tips his cap to what he learned from being part of the Westpac NSW Blues.

“This year I’ve come in with a bit more of a mature head,” he said.

“I feel with that Origin opportunity I got last year I’m a better leader just around the players in voicing my opinion.

“I hope I’m a better role model for the boys coming up here at the Sharks – just giving advice where I can and talking to them a lot more than what I did last year.”

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