NSW star Boyd Cordner says he did nothing wrong when he went out with Mitchell Pearce earlier this year and was fined by the Sydney Roosters.
Boyd Cordner admits he still has no idea why he was fined by the Sydney Roosters for a late night he shared with teammate Mitchell Pearce before Origin I, but says he’s just happy to have put the matter behind him and be back playing for NSW.
The outstanding Kangaroos back-rower was ruled out of the first two Origin matches with an ankle injury, but there was speculation he may have missed out anyway after being fined $5000 by his NRL club for being kicked out of the Clovelly Hotel back in May.
NSW took a tough stance against Pearce for his drunken behaviour that night, replacing him for the opener against Queensland with Trent Hodkinson, who has gone on to cement his spot.
Cordner was excited to be named as one of three changes to the NSW side for game three on Tuesday, but was always confident Daley hadn’t put the line through his name.
“I don’t really know what I done wrong that night. I got named in the paper for being there. If I get in trouble for sticking up for a mate, then so be it,” Cordner said.
“(Laurie) knew I hadn’t done anything wrong so I didn’t need to talk to him about it. It got blown up bigger than what (it should have been) the whole drama with Mitchell.
“I was struggling to find out what I had done (to get fined) but you can’t really argue about that. I was happy to cop the fine and move on.”
Cordner – who replaces the suspended Anthony Watmough – has defied medical opinion to get back from his ankle in time to play his third Origin.
Josh Morris returns to the side after missing game two to replace the injured Michael Jennings, while Newcastle winger James McManus earns his first cap since game three last year to come in for Will Hopoate (shoulder).
McManus is yet to taste victory in his three Origin appearances to date and is hungry.
Morris’ injury-defying courage in game one will go down in NSW folklore and the Canterbury centre says he’s spent some long nights covered in ice to get himself right without an NRL match under his belt.
“I’ve worked pretty hard to get back here. Been really diligent with my rehab,” he said.
“It was very tough to miss game two, but me and (injured brother) Brett got to hand out the jerseys before the game and that was a huge honour.”
Daley hasn’t forgotten those who have served him this series – with Watmough, Brett Morris and Hopoate all present at Tuesday’s team announcement.