Frizell relishing big brother role with Cleary

NSW back-rower Tyson Frizell will play a bodyguard role for Origin rookie Nathan Cleary and a right-side back-line that is full of fresh faces.

The Maroons will send the likes of Gavin Cooper and Greg Inglis towards Frizell's edge in next week's series-opener and the 26-year-old feels it's on his shoulders to watch his young teammates' backs.

"I'll be doing my best to look after everyone," Frizell said.

"It's what you've got to do as a back-rower. You've got to look after your middle but make sure your halves and your edges are sweet.

"There's always traffic defending next to a half. It's what teams are trying to do these days, target your main players, and I'm sure they'll be doing that.

"If you can sort your numbers out and get everything right, you can be the one to stop tries from happening down on the wing."

Frizell, who is rooming with 20-year-old Cleary, says he is enjoying getting to know the talented young half. He is vowed to do everything he can to protect him on Wednesday night.

"I'm always doing my best to look after my half and playing against him at Penrith, he holds his own pretty well so it's good to have a half that can do that," Frizell said.

Blues teammates Nathan Cleary (left) and Tyson Frizell.
Blues teammates Nathan Cleary (left) and Tyson Frizell. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"He's good (to room with). He's nice and quiet, he's a very respectful young kid and it's nice to room with someone you haven't met before. He's a great player and I look forward to playing alongside him."

Running into traffic will be no different for Maroons halfback Ben Hunt.

Frizell joked about how he is accustomed to having Hunt's back at the Dragons but says it will be a different story in game one at the MCG.

"You want to target the players that do a lot in attack and Benny is on a roll at the moment so I'm sure the boys on the left-hand side will give him a lot of trouble," he said.

"It's funny, I'm use to having Ben on my outside and trying to do my best to look after him but that goes all out the window on Wednesday. We will definitely be doing whatever we can to shut him down."