Tom Trbojevic breaks clear against the Rabbitohs on Saturday.

There were fears a few weeks ago that Sea Eagles fullback Tom Trbojevic would miss the rest of the season after he was caught in an awkward tackle at the very ground he had been tipped to make his State of Origin debut. 

It was a moment that left rugby league fans in disbelief as the highly-gifted speedster had his left leg trapped under the weight of David Mead as both men contested the bouncing ball during the double-header at Suncorp Stadium on May 13. 

Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett feared the worst at the time, but thankfully Trbojevic received positive news with scans revealing a syndesmosis injury to his left ankle and an MCL sprain in his left knee that was set to sideline him for 6-8 weeks.

It was a timeframe that had fans letting out a collective sigh of relief, and incredibly Trbojevic returned a month earlier than expected in Manly's Round 14 win over the Knights. 

While he only missed two club games, Trbojevic's setback meant he wasn't considered for the State of Origin series opener at Suncorp Stadium; a cruel blow given most people expected him to line up on the left wing. 

"I didn't even think about it to be honest," Trbojevic told NRL.com when asked whether he thought his hopes of playing Origin had been dashed.  

"Even in the weeks leading up to that Broncos game I wasn't thinking about Origin. I just wanted to play my best footy for Manly and help them get some wins because I love playing there and they were my only focus. 

"I was a bit shocked at the time and that's what scared me the most. I got back in the sheds and they weren't too sure what I'd done so that probably scared me a little bit more. 

"I was hopeful that night that it wasn't something too serious and it pulled up all right the next day so that was good. I got the scans the next day and they were positive so it was good news all round. 

"I was pretty lucky to only miss two games so it was a bit of relief at my end." 

 


Initially named on an extended bench, the 20-year-old lined up at fullback for Manly's controversial 18-14 win over the Knights at a drenched Lottoland on Friday, and while the conditions weren't conducive to enterprising play the most important thing was that Trbojevic got through the game unscathed. 

"It was awesome to get back out there and run around with the boys. It's hard being injured because you miss being out there, but once you get back you quickly realise why you love playing footy so much," he said. 

"I felt like I played 100 per cent. It was wet out there so I couldn't really make too much of an impact but I got through the game which was important."

While he hasn't been able to fight his way into Laurie Daley's side for Game Two, Trbojevic's speedy recovery has seen him included in an extended squad for the June 21 fixture at ANZ Stadium.

The try-scoring machine was in a similar position last season as a development player for Game Three and hopes to learn as much as possible from seasoned campaigners to help him take his game to the next level. 

"It was a pretty special feeling to be around the senior playing group so I just tried to take in as much as I could," he said. 

"I learnt how the senior players hold themselves around the camp and I just tried to feed off that. It's good to see how they prepare for big games and that's something I'll look to learn off again this year."

While he obviously couldn't play, Trbojevic spent Game One in the stands watching his state claim the series opener; a moment made even more special given his older brother Jake was there to make his debut in a winning side. 

"I haven't seen a NSW win like that ever. That was the first Origin game that I'd been to at Suncorp and it was a surreal experience. To top it off with a Blues win was special," he said. 

"Jake always carries on so he was loving it and it was great to see."