Reed content with Origin sacrifice
His heroes are all icons of Queensland rugby league but Broncos centre Jack Reed insists he has no regrets about choosing the mother country over an opportunity to play for the Maroons in the State of Origin arena.
While the rugby league world continues to debate the representative eligibility criteria and how it applies to State of Origin and international fixtures, the self-confessed proud Pom who speaks with a Caboolture twang has no desire to push the boundaries.
After bursting onto the scene for the Broncos in 2011, West Yorksire-born Reed was rushed into the England squad for that year's Four Nations tournament and insists that three years later his commitment to playing for England remains resolute.
"I definitely don't regret it. My family is a big part of my decision and I'm a proud Pom, as much as it doesn't sound like it," Reed told NRL.com.
"I sit around during the Origin period and I love watching the boys going around. It is the pinnacle of our sport and you would love to be a part of it but I'm happy with my decision to be an Englishman and hopefully I can get another chance to represent my country at the end of the year if I'm healthy.
"I did like watching Mal Meninga. My old man used to take me to the games but you've obviously got the likes of Darren Lockyer and 'Hodgo' (Justin Hodges).
"I'm lucky enough to play with the calibre of player that I watched growing up and never thought I'd get the opportunity to play alongside and be a good mate with."
Reed opposed incumbent Maroons winger Brent Tate in Friday night's 27-14 loss to the Cowboys in Townsville and said that given Tate's standing in the game, it is the personal match-up he most looks forward to in the course of a season.
"It's the big one I personally look forward to every year," Reed said. "'Tatey' is a former Bronco, a State of Origin and Australian representative but the fact that he is playing such great football at his age, you aspire to do that, like (Broncos teammate) Justin Hodges as well.
"To be that competitive and he's such a big part of the North Queensland side is a massive thing so I look forward to trying to take that away from their game and personally get one over him.
"I get excited every time you come up against a world-class player like Tatey and every week pretty much it's a world-class player."
Rather than mourning another potential missed opportunity to represent his state, Reed sees the Origin period as a chance for the next generation of Broncos players to stand up in the absence of their established rep stars.
The 'baby Broncos' have often in the past delivered shock upsets against more well-credentialled opponents and Reed is confident that when the likes of Corey Parker, Justin Hodges, Sam Thaiday and Matt Gillett are off on Origin duty that they have the talent waiting to step forward.
"It's tough for us – like every side – losing your rep players but we get excited," the 25-year-old said.
"I talked about the depth of our squad and the likes of Corey Oates and players like that coming through the system, it gives them the opportunity and game-time they deserve. It's a good point for us to stand up and hopefully get those tough wins while our boys away and doing their bit for Queensland or New South Wales."