North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green has hit back at suggestions Cowboys back-rower Coen Hess does not want to play State of Origin.
Hess told reporters last week he was not sure if he was ready for the Origin arena, comments taken as modesty by some while others have questioned Hess's willingness to step up to the Origin level at such a young age.
Green sought to clarify Hess's intentions around Origin in the post-match press conference, unhappy that the young player's comments was taken out of context.
"I'll say this about 'Hessy' and Origin about what's been said about what I've said and what he said in particular. What 'Hessy' said when he got asked the question I think has been skewed around," Green said.
"That young kid is like any other young Queenslander, he'd give his right arm to play for Queensland, he'd love to get the opportunity. If he did he's not going to let anyone down he's going to give it his all.
"I think a couple of different people have grabbed on to what he's said and twisted it around which I think is pretty unfair to doubt whether 'Hessy' wants to play for Queensland, that's just ridiculous."
Hess also had the support of his captain, Johnathan Thurston, who was confident that Hess would rise to the occasion in State of Origin if selected. Hess's current form undoubtedly puts him in the frame for a bench position, having scored 10 tries in 14 games.
"I think he'd handle it if he gets the opportunity, but I haven't spoken to [Kevin Walters] too much about him so we'll wait and see," Thurston said.