Ben Horne, AAP
Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods admits he let himself get overwhelmed by the State of Origin hype last year but says that won't be the case this series.
Alongside Queensland stalwart Matt Scott, Woods has been the form prop of the NRL this season and is a near certainty to be part of Laurie Daley's NSW side when it's announced on Tuesday.
Woods is yet to taste victory at Origin level, after being involved in the Blues' heart-breaking losses in game's two and three last year.
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Of all the players used by NSW over Queensland's eight-year reign, young front-rowers have found it particularly difficult to make the step up when they've gone into battle against the likes of Scott and Petero Civoniceva before him.
Woods was no exception but the Tigers enforcer is confident he'll be better for having experienced his baptism of fire.
"It was a long week. I bought into the hype a bit too much and didn't relax," Woods told AAP.
"I just can't wait. If I get a second chance I'll be ready to go.
"I'm bigger and better. I'm fully fit this year."
On Saturday night, Woods received the perfect warm-up, going head-to-head with NSW captain Paul Gallen in the Tigers' clash with the Sharks.
"It was good fun. He's a nuggety big boy, so I thought we did well," he said.
"I was happy enough, I got the boys going forward so that's all you can ask."