Amid another tough season at the Broncos, prop Payne Haas is relishing the chance to feed off the energy of Blues teammates who have made winning a habit.
Heavily relied upon by 15th-placed Brisbane, Haas has enjoyed being able to just focus on his own role leading into Wednesday's State of Origin series opener at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville.
The workhorse prop carried a knee injury into camp but confirmed he should be fine to play in a fifth Origin match after completing full training for the past two days.
"I would lie if I said it [losing club games] doesn’t suck, especially [because] I love the Broncs and I always say I love all the boys," Haas, 21, said after NSW training on Friday morning.
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"But it does suck at the moment. It is cool coming in with all these players who are in form and just learning off those guys.
"It's easier when you play with all the best players in the comp. When you play with those kinds of guys, it makes your job a bit easier as well. All I have to worry about is doing my job."
Haas will play from the bench alongside fellow front-row behemoth Junior Paulo, versatile forward Liam Martin and utility Jack Wighton.
"Especially with Junior's ball-playing skills and the way he runs hard, I think it's going to really help against this Queensland team," he said.
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"I reckon we can use Junior and Yeoy [lock Isaah Yeo] and their ball-skills, we can move them [the Maroons] around. Plus we can use Saf [Daniel Saifiti] and myself who just like to run the ball."
However, the substitutes will need to be flexible.
"You go into a game with a rough interchange plan but we're not sure exactly how it will work," NSW advisor Greg Alexander said.
"We'll just have to see how the game pans out. We've got a lot of other stuff to deal with as a coaching staff with the HIAs and sin-binning and things that are new to Origin.
"I still think Payne will play big minutes. You might have Liam Martin come on in the middle with a bit of footwork and a bit of speed."
The nerves have yet to kick in for Martin, the Panthers back-rower who will make his debut after being named in jersey 17.
The 24-year-old is also ready to be injected on the edge but so far he's avoided playing out various scenarios in his head.
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"I've always been pretty good with it - through the week I can switch off a bit and start really concentrating closer to game time. I've always had the mental side of it," Martin said.
Haas described Blues camp as a "bit more relaxed" than at the end of last year when they spent five weeks together in a bubble.
"We get to go back to our families this weekend and have a little break from camp and come back on Sunday afternoon," he said.
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Martin, meanwhile, likened the intensity at training to Penrith's preparation for the grand final against the Storm last October.
Having a host of Panthers teammates - Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai, Brian To'o, Yeo and Api Koroisau - in sky blue has helped calm Martin.
"It's good having them in here with the training runs. I can go back to them and use Penrith as a comparison, be like 'is this how we're doing it?' They're just good to have, it makes my life a lot easier," he said.
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