NSW coach Brad Fittler hasn't wasted any time heaping pressure on maligned Queensland halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, taking a cheeky swipe at the Maroons No.7 ahead of his return to the Origin arena.
Fittler, who on Monday morning claimed to be unaware of Cherry-Evans' selection for the Maroons, wants his players to make sure his recall to the Queensland team is a moment he won't forget in a hurry.
"I haven't seen their team. He got the nod?," Fittler said.
"He's a lovely fella. Hopefully we make it one of those nights he remembers for a long time."
Cherry-Evans, who will play his seventh game for Queensland next Wednesday night, hasn't represented the Maroons since game two of 2015.
He's lost both matches when starting at halfback, and also lost another when replacing an injured Cooper Cronk eight minutes into the opening game of the 2014 series.
While Cherry-Evans helped lead the Sea Eagles to victory over Penrith on Saturday, Fittler was quick to point out his season as a whole.
"He was good on the weekend," Fittler said.
"I've seen some games where he hasn't been good. He was good on the weekend, and that was the one that counted."
Cherry-Evans' Manly teammate, Blues forward Jake Trbojevic, described the halfback as misunderstood.
He has heard all the rumours about Cherry-Evans being overlooked because of a personality clash with certain players but insists his club teammate hasn't been fazed by them.
"I think it's natural to be upset when you miss out on these sorts of teams," Trbojevic said.
"You want to be there, but he's pretty mentally strong. He doesn't show it too much. I guess all the people talking about him and having their say about him can be quite frustrating but he doesn't show it.
"He's mentally strong. He's a good leader. "Everyone seems to blame him for everything. It's certainly not the case. He's a great captain and a great leader. He's a great mate.
It's obviously disappointing when people say things about him that aren't true but it's a well-deserved reward for him."
Trbojevic said he hasn't spoken to Cherry-Evans about his public perception, admitting he was offended by the suggestions.
"We don't talk about it because we like him," Trbojevic said.
"It's annoying when people bag him. It's annoying when people say they don't like him. And it would be for him, but he doesn't show it.
"I don't think he's failed. It's just people trying to bash him. He's a great player and you can't deny he's been playing well and deserves to be there."
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