Queensland forward Josh Papalii knows he’s lucky to have retained his State of Origin spot after a disappointing start to his NRL season.
By his own admission Josh Papalii is lucky to have retained his spot in Queensland’s State of Origin line-up.
The Canberra forward made the decision to drop himself to Queensland Cup earlier this month in a bid to regain his form following a disappointing start to the NRL season.
He showed signs of his best in a strong display for the Raiders against Penrith last weekend, but says getting the nod to be a part of the Maroons line-up for next week’s Origin opener in Brisbane was still a bit of a surprise.
“I guess I’d ruled myself out with the form I was presenting in the NRL,” Papalii told AAP.
“I’m just thankful that Mal (Meninga, coach) had faith in me to produce whatever he’s seeking in me again.
“Just happy to put the Maroons jersey back on.”
After a breakout 2013 campaign, which resulted in an Origin debut and a call-up to the Kangaroos Papalii, said his self-imposed demotion to Queensland Cup had reminded him of what he had to lose.
While his former Australian teammates were taking on New Zealand, Papalii was lacing up his boots for Souths-Logan in Brisbane’s Davies Park.
“Everything I used to do just wasn’t working,” he said.
“It was a good time going back to where it all started … it was like a fresh start for myself. It just opened up my eyes to what you could lose in the future and what you do have at the moment.
“I’m just taking my opportunity and just enjoying it at the moment.”