He is one of the elite forwards in the game but there is a part of Tyson Frizell that still can’t believe he is an Origin player.
The St George Illawarra back-rower will again start for NSW in game two at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night as New South Wales look to secure just their second series win in 12 years.
Frizell has made an impressive start to his State of Origin career, scoring twice in his three matches that have also yielded two victories.
Frizell has already represented Australia and was a shining light for the Dragons during a disappointing campaign for the club last season.
But as good as he has been and despite the plaudits that have come his way, the humble 25-year-old told the Leader he appreciated all that had come his way.
“It’s still funny getting your name called out and getting asked to play,” he said.
“I’m very honoured to be able to wear the jersey again. Whenever you play in that rep side you want to do whatever you can because you never know when it could be your last. I guess that’s what I take into every Origin game.”
Frizell is one of seven St George Illawarra and Cronulla players to feature in Origin II, highlighting the impressive starts to the season made by both clubs. Frizell will be joined by Dragons teammate Josh Dugan in the NSW side with the pair to play alongside Sharks quartet James Maloney, Andrew Fifita, Wade Graham and Jack Bird.
Young Cronulla star Valentine Holmes is the sole representative for Queensland, with the 21-year-old premiership-winner and Australian representative to make his Origin debut.
Frizell said he was “pretty close” to not playing for the Dragons against Canterbury last weekend due to a rib injury. But he managed to get through 60 minutes in that game before heading into Origin camp.
The Blues forward pack set the tone for the 28-4 victory in game one in Brisbane and Frizell was confident he would be right for the physical battle against a new-look Maroons pack.
“We set the platform and set some standards in the first game,” he said.
“We just want to go back to what we did and that’s completing high and competing on everything. That’s what we did well.
“I expect a lot out of [Queensland]. To be honest I didn’t think they would make that many changes. It’s young blood, freshens up the team. Usually when you debut you want to put your best foot forward and I guess they’re going to be keen as anything.
“But I guess for us as a team we can’t really worry about what they’re going to throw at us.”