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Blues prop David Klemmer.

While Tariq Sims waited nervously to find out his fate late on Tuesday night, David Klemmer fell asleep next to his son Cooper in his Newcastle home with his phone by his side.

It was 9.59pm when Sims’s Origin dream was shattered at the NRL judiciary. At the same time, Klemmer’s phone started going off.

Not that he knew.

It wasn’t until his wife Chloe walked into the room to wake him 10 minutes later did he find out that his Origin dream had been resurrected.

For most, Klemmer’s non-selection was as puzzling, if not more bemusing, than Latrell Mitchell’s axing for game two.

Somehow, there was no room for the best prop in the game for the biggest game of the season.

Klemmer was shattered, as you would expect given he knocked back surgery and rushed back for the Knights from a broken wrist to give himself the best chance of playing in game three.

However, the 25-year-old insists he understood Blues coach Brad Fittler’s decision, as hard as it was to swallow.

"Of course, I was disappointed," Klemmer told

"I would be disappointed in myself if I wasn’t disappointed. The day I’m not disappointed to miss out on these rep teams is the day I should give it up. The NSW jersey means that much to me that when you don’t get the chance it hurts.

Sims shattered as Origin dream is crushed

"I’m not going to lie, I was pretty down in the dumps about it, but in saying all that, I understood the reason behind it.

"The boys went to Perth and played unbelievably and every single one of them deserved the chance to be there again. I understand Freddie’s thinking and the reasons behind it. How could you tell Daniel Saifiti he didn’t deserve to play again? How could you tell any of them after what they did?"

Klemmer has been overwhelmed by support from the public and rugby league fraternity since finding out on Sunday night that he wouldn’t take part in game three.

Surprisingly, Queensland legend Corey Parker, who Klemmer famously clashed with in a heated exchange during his Origin debut in 2015, leapt to the defence of the prop.

Parker took to social media on Monday night, saying: “I cannot believe that NSW have over looked a player who in my opinion nearly single-handedly won the game in game 1. Not to mention playing with a broken wrist in which he did for his beloved state … to not be picked is absolutely not fare (sic). Loyalty is to those that deserve it. Wow!!”

Klemmer said he was grateful for all the support he received, especially from Parker given their history.

"That meant a lot," Klemmer said of Parker's message.

"I thanked him for his support. I guess in those tough times you find out who your real friends are and I appreciate everyone who reached out to me. The thing is that you learn over time is that you don’t have a right to the Blues jersey.

"There are so many great players out there, so every time you get a chance to wear that jersey you need to make it count. I will be going out there on Wednesday to make it count."

Klemmer, who drove from Newcastle to the Blues camp in Bondi on Wednesday morning, said he felt for Sims after his suspension opened the door for him to return to the fold.

"I feel sorry for Tariq," he said.

"He deserves a chance to play in the decider. I can’t imagine how he feels this morning to have that taken away from him. It was hard for me following the judiciary last night, knowing that one of us was going to be shattered.

"You don’t take joy in anyone’s misery, but Freddie rang me last night and now I have a job to do. Tariq is still as much a part of this team as anyone who played any part for us this series."


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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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