Napa will smash everyone, even Boyd: Evans
They might be teammates at club level, but don't expect Maroons rookie Dylan Napa to go soft on Blues skipper Boyd Cordner when State of Origin kicks off on May 31.
That's the opinion of Roosters prop Kane Evans who is tipping big things from his fellow front-rower at Suncorp Stadium for the series opener.
Evans and Napa came through the ranks together at the Roosters with the pair picked to represent the Junior Kangaroos in 2012, but it was that year's under-20s State of Origin contest that stands out for the Fijian hard man.
A Blues side led by Cordner might have emerged victorious on that occasion, but Evans recalls being belted by the fiery red head whose efforts that night must have impressed Queensland coach Kevin Walters who has handed him his Origin debut five years after the pair worked together for the Junior Maroons.
"Dylan Napa doesn't care who's in front of him. If it's at training or in a game, all he wants to do is put you on your arse. He's got that mentality where he doesn't care who the person is so it's going to be awesome to watch," Evans told NRL.com.
"Dylan is a very passionate Queenslander who gives it everything every time he runs onto the field. He plays with aggression and all he wants to do is smash everyone when he's on the field.
"I remember when I played him in Origin, he hit me a few times and I knew he hadn't held back. I'm expecting a passionate performance from him and a really aggressive one.
"I'm very happy for Dylan to finally make his Origin debut. He's been killing it in the NRL for a few years now and it's mad to see those boys make their respective teams.
"I knew when I was younger that those two were going to be the best in their positions one day. I'm proud as a mate to see them get what they deserve."
A jokester off the field, Napa's maturity in 2017 hasn't gone unnoticed amongst his peers, and it's that hardened approach to his game that has really impressed Evans.
"I've noticed that he's been more of a leader with his actions this year," he said.
"Dylan normally loves to be the joker and he's probably the funniest in the team, but I've really seen him step up with his leadership this year. That's what's so good about him; he can be a joker off the field, but when it comes to game time, he becomes really serious and everyone follows his lead."