NSW State of Origin captain Paul Gallen says he won’t consider stepping down from Origin football if the Blues finally break their drought.
Paul Gallen has embodied NSW’s desperate State of Origin crusade over the past eight years but he insists he won’t be tempted to quit on a high should the Blues finally end the Queensland dynasty in 2014.
Blues skipper Gallen turns 33 in August and the neck injury he took from NSW’s brave game one win at Suncorp Stadium is a reminder of how much punishment the Cronulla warrior has put his body through.
The whole-hearted forward may only have a couple of years left in the NRL, but he dismissed the suggestion he could consider retiring from Origin should the Blues capitalise on their 1-0 lead and achieve the holy grail of a series victory this season.
It took Gallen some time to force his way into the Origin arena in the first place, and once there it took several years of being dropped and recalled until he established himself as the fixture he is today.
For that reason, Gallen says he won’t be giving up his position without a fight, and while ever he’s still playing for the Sharks he’ll leave his Origin fate in the hands of selectors.
“I see it that when someone’s better than me at doing what I do then I won’t get picked in these sides,” Gallen told AAP.
“That’s my attitude. If there’s someone better than me I’m going to make them take my spot, I’m not going to give it up.
“I won’t be throwing anything away. You’re a long time retired and I’ll be trying to get everything I can out of my career.
“I look back at my Origin career and it’s been real up and down. After being left out of the side a lot it wasn’t until 2011 when I was made captain that I really felt part of the side.”
Gallen says he’s definitely out of Cronulla’s clash with St George Illawarra on Saturday with his neck problem.
Despite the whiplash sensation he experienced in game one when hit late from behind by Queensland’s Josh Papalii, Gallen said his body is in good nick despite the perception that he’s a physically battered athlete.
“I’m really good. Guys get bad knees or ankles or shoulders but I’m pretty lucky like that. Sure I’ve copped my fair share of injuries but once I get over it, I’m over it,” Gallen said.
NSW are in an unfamiliar dominant position, having clinched a game one in Queensland for the first time since 2003.
Gallen said it was imperative the Blues’ mentality stays as ruthless as it was before game one going into game two in Sydney.
To keep the continuity flowing, coach Laurie Daley has decided to go back to Coffs Harbour for camp.
Gallen said his team needed to ignore the fact they’re 1-0 up and push the message that nothing’s changed.
“We’ve got to have the attitude that it doesn’t,” he said.
“We have to have the attitude that it’s do or die still. We can’t even have a hint of being relaxed.
“We know the job is only half done … and we’re under no illusions about how tough it’s going to be.”