Captain Farah ready to get on with job
While happy to have finally ended Queensland's State of Origin dominance, newly-appointed NSW captain Robbie Farah says it's now time to get on with the job.
Named captain in place of the injured Paul Gallen, Farah immediately noticed an excitement around the Blues building.
While the likes of Gallen, the suspended Greg Bird and the omitted duo of Anthony Watmough and Luke Lewis all missed out on selection – a total of 65 Origins worth of experience – Farah believes the 17 players named are ready to give their all for their state.
"Nobody gave us a chance last year and our belief in what we were doing got us over the line and it'll be the same this year where we need to believe in what we are doing and believe in each other regardless of who's there and who's not there. We need to get on with the job," Farah said on Tuesday.
"If anything, there has been a lot of build-up over the pressure of having to win a series which was probably hovering over us for a few years there but now it's off us we're really excited about building on what we did last year.
"We know we have to be better too, [Queensland are] a great side and they'll be hurting with what happened last year so there's no doubt they'll come out at us hard."
With Andrew Fifita and Mitchell Pearce returning to the team after a year's absence, Josh Jackson and David Klemmer named to debut and barnstorming Dragons back-rower Tyson Frizell named at 18th man, Farah is excited by the numerous chances handed down by coach Laurie Daley.
"It presents a good opportunity for guys to come in and take New South Wales forward into the future – this team represents that," Farah said.
"There's some young guys getting their first taste of State of Origin and others who have come back in after some time off and they'll be chomping at the bit to show they deserve to be here."
While plenty of experience will be absent, an honoured Farah said he has plenty of veterans still around him to help and is hoping to draw from Gallen's ways when the Sharks skipper enters camp with the team this week in Coffs Harbour.
"It's a great honour to have the opportunity to captain this state again, a state which I love so much and a jersey which means so much to me is a privilege and I'd love to repay that faith from Laurie and the coaching staff for giving me the chance to lead the boys throughout the week into next Wednesday's game," Farah said.
"There are a lot of people missing but I still have a great leadership around me - guys like Ryan Hoffman, Beau Scott and Josh Morris. It is a great challenge but it's one I'm very excited about and one I'm sure I'll do well.
"I spoke to Gal last week when the news came out that he wasn't going to be fit and I'm looking forward to having him up there with us. I'll be sure to go to him for a bit of advice and guidance and anything I can get from him I'll be looking to take on board."