Hunt won't let corked thigh keep him out of Origin
Ben Hunt has been waiting several seasons for an opportunity at Origin and won't let a minor injury like a corked quad get in the way of him placing his hands on Queensland's No.7 jersey.
Hunt who is almost certain to be selected as the Maroons starting halfback is confident he can overcome the injury in time for game one on June 6. But he still remains nervous about selection on Monday.
"I knew it was just a bad cork straight away but at the same time you do think that [the worst]," Hunt said.
Dragons teammates, Euan Aitken and Jack de Belin, are also fighting niggly injuries but they are the concern of NSW selectors, not Hunt. He is feeling stressed enough.
"Extremely anxious [about selection]," Hunt said after the Dragons suffered a heavy 28-2 loss to the Panthers on Saturday night.
"This has been the biggest opportunity I've had to get in that position," said the man who has been in both Mal Meninga and Kevin Walters' extended benches recently.
"I feel I've played pretty well to start the year and put my hand up and now it's in the selectors hands and Kevvie's hands now and whichever way they want to go."
With the likes of Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk having the mortgage on the No.7 position in previous years, Hunt is determined to follow in the footsteps of some of the game's greatest halfbacks. But says he would be honoured just to be anywhere in the team.
"Preferably yes [wear the No.7] but at the end of the day I don't really care where they put me," Hunt said.
"I'll wear No.10 if they want me too. It doesn't bother me, I'd just be honoured to be in the team anywhere."
De Belin is also confident a recurrence of a hip injury won't prevent him for lining up for NSW.
"It's not too bad, hopefully it's just a stinger," de Belin said.
"I think it was just more scary than anything getting a knock on it when I thought it was coming good but it doesn't feel as bad as when I initially did it which is good.
"I was tossing up tonight whether to get a needle or not but there was still a little bit of pain there and I didn't want to risk it and got it needled again. At the back end there, the needle was starting to ware off a little bit and that's maybe why the pain was a little bit more scary than I initially thought," de Belin said.
"[Origin] is just around the corner and nothing is guaranteed or anything but I'd like to think I was definitely close, or if not, on the cusp of being there. Nothing changes - hopefully it's all good."
Aitken faces a stiffer challenge to get in the side up against the likes of Latrell Mitchell, James Roberts and potentially Tom Trbojevic being picked at centre if James Tedesco gets the fullback jersey.
Aitken has dreamt of running out in a Blues jersey and is positive that if his time comes he can step up.
"It's always been a dream, it's always in the back of my mind that that's the future goal, obviously I want to strive for that and the first plan was to get the body right and after that play some good footy, I think I've done that," Aitken said, adding the Dragons depth should be fine during the Origin period.
"I think we will go well, we got some good depth there in the youngsters, Jackson Ford, Jai Field, a few of them blokes are going to step up and do the job so I think they'll be fine.
"To sit where we are after 12 rounds after playing against eight of the top eight teams there it's definitely good going forward."