Long-serving NSW forward Anthony Watmough concedes a
changing of the guard is imminent in the Blues ranks, but says the new crop of
forwards are already better than he is.
With hooker Robbie Farah recently acknowledging chances are
running out for some senior Blues to win an Origin series,
Watmough said the future of the side is in good hands.
"I've always felt it was the changing of the guard,"
he said. "We've been so close for so many years, but it's only one try
here or there, or a goal or a freakish try by some players who are incredibly
talented that have caused us some heartache.
"It's a different story if things were different and it
might have only been a couple in a row rather than eight. If we keep turning up
like we did and play for one another like we did a couple of weeks ago [in Game
I] we'll go a long way to winning that game. We just have to turn up with the
right mentality and do our job. If we do our job we'll go a long way to winning
Watmough said he was in no rush to step aside from the
representative arena but the decision may be taken out of his hands by the next
generation of players.
"As long as you're needed you'll play – I know this
isn't going to last forever," he said.
"I know I was very lucky to get in with the crop of
kids going around this year and I said that last night to a few of the boys. To
see them play week in and week out how they play, to me they're better players
than I am.
"I certainly count my lucky stars that I'm here and
still needed. While I'm still needed I'll be here."
He nominated current Blues interchange forward Trent Merrin
(24) and injured NSW and Kangaroos back-rower Boyd Cordner (22) as players that
are now ahead of him.
Young back-rowers including Bulldog Josh Jackson (23) and
Shark Wade Graham (23) have also spent time in Blues camp this year and seem
likely to force their way into the squad in the next year or two.
"There are a cast of thousands coming up through the
ranks – NSW are in good hands," Watmough said.
"We've been the gatekeepers of the bad times for the
Blues, but hopefully we can turn it and have a couple of good years ahead of
us," he added.