Queensland backrower Ben Te’o joked that he wondered if his teammates had his back after a near disastrous run-in with a local at their Origin camp.
Team harmony has already been tested at Queensland’s State of Origin camp on the Gold Coast after Ben Te’o almost had a disastrous run-in with a local.
Maroons back-rower Ben Te’o joked that he wondered if his teammates had his back before the May 28 series opener after he spooked a kangaroo at a training session.
“He was a big sucker. I am a bit shaken up,” a laughing Te’o told QRL TV.
“I would have hoped that I would have run towards the boys and got a bit of help getting it off me.
“But it looked like everyone was about to clear out.”
Te’o inadvertently came face to face with the local fauna attempting to retrieve a stray ball on Wednesday.
It ensured some anxious moments for Te’o – and comedy gold for his teammates.
“Benny was trying to get a footy and one of the local wildlife has wandered onto the park, got a little bit flustered and took a couple of skips toward the big fella (Te’o),” a bemused Queensland captain Cameron Smith said.
“I tell ya, this bloke (Te’o) took off like there was no tomorrow, it was hilarious.
“I think it would have given him a good old hiding with the rear legs and they’ve got some fair dinkum claws.
“It would have done some damage – especially to that haircut.”
Until then, South Sydney back-rower Te’o had been a picture of contentment at the Origin camp.
In contrast to last year, a relaxed Te’o spoke with journalists while stretching out on a deck chair during this week’s main media session in Brisbane.
And he has been sighted regularly pool-side at their Sanctuary Cove camp.
Twelve months earlier Te’o was shielded from the media after a woman accused him of striking her at the home of former Broncos teammate Corey Norman.
Police and the NRL Integrity Unit found he had no case to answer.
Queensland stood by Te’o, picking him for all three games last year despite his numbers indicating the controversy was taking its toll.
Te’o averaged just 38m a game.
However, Te’o looked like a new man when he bounced into the Gold Coast camp – and even after almost being bounced by the `roo.
His relaxed demeanour hides the fact that Te’o still has some important matters on his mind.
Besides hitting the pool, Te’o is expected to use his idle time in camp contemplating a switch to French rugby union.
He has until the end of the month to exercise an option to stay with South Sydney next year.