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'So special being back': Trbojevic

Westpac NSW Blues forward Jake Trbojevic says he’s learnt his lesson about trying to make a comeback too early from injury after a calf strain cost him any chance of playing the opening two games of the Ampol State of Origin series.

A passionate New South Welshman, Trbojevic attempted a return ahead of schedule in a desperate attempt to prove his fitness for Game One in Adelaide on Wednesday 31 May but only reaggravated the injury which prompted a longer stint on the sidelines.

“It’s so special being in camp again, I just love Origin and playing for NSW – it just pumps me up,” the 29-year-old said after being selected for Game Three.

Trbojevic initially hurt his leg in Round Nine against Gold Coast, returned in Round 12 facing the Canberra Raiders, but then had to sit out five weeks missing Origin I and Origin II.

He returned for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles for their hard-fought 18-16 win over the Sydney Roosters last Sunday where he played 80 minutes for 128 running metres and 34 tackles.

“I’ve been pretty lucky in my career – touch wood – as far as injuries go and to deal with,” Trboejvic said.

“So, I haven’t got a lot of experience to draw on, but I thought it felt fine.

“Honestly it felt fine as a lot of people told me you had to make sure it was alright.

“Look it is what it is… you’ll always learn lessons so now I know.

“I didn’t do anything special the second time. I probably got everything right the first time – I just needed more time.”

At least he’s back but the Trbojevic family are not having an easy time in the rehab ward lately with younger brother Tom tearing his right pectoral muscle in Game Two to now miss the rest of the NRL season.

“Definitely a bit sad for Tom because he works so hard and he’s had no luck recently,” he said.

“It’s quite hard to see him go through everything. I know he’ll get back but he just needs a good break from all the injuries.”

Trbojevic will celebrate his 16th State of Origin appearance next week. He’s played at least one game in every one of the past seven series since his debut off the bench in Game One 2017, with the Blues winning 28-4 at Suncorp Stadium.

“That sounds like a lot of games. I’m very proud and to get to play just one game for the Blues is pretty cool so to play however many I get is very special.”

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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