Team always Gallen’s focus for Origin I
NSW skipper Paul Gallen has revealed his desperation to play in State of Origin I was not personally motivated, but rather a desire to ensure his team was in the best shape possible to beat Queensland.
Gallen on Monday declared himself a certain starter after his strained thigh muscle showed no ill-effects from Sunday’s opposed training session – his first run since last Tuesday.
He admitted to the frustration and embarrassment the injury – and the preceding knee injury he came into camp with – had caused, but he insists the concerns he carried were very-much team orientated.
“The whole time I wasn’t really concerned about myself, it wasn’t really about me or about me playing,” Gallen said.
“I’m more concerned about this team.
“If I didn’t play this game and we won I wouldn’t care – all I want is for this team to win this game and this series.”
There’s little doubt NSW’s chances of beating Queensland would be significantly higher with Gallen in the side, but that wouldn’t mean the rugged prop would take any risks by playing.
“Thinking that if I went out there and couldn’t perform, and let people down, that’s something that I’d be pretty upset with,” Gallen said.
“I find it hard to hide the way I’m feeling … (I was) walking around with the blues – it (the injury) was just annoying me and just really frustrating for me.
“Fortunately I got through the session fine yesterday, my head’s in a lot better space today.”
It was Gallen’s desperation to overcome his knee injury which caused the strained quadriceps muscle, when he embarked on a gruelling running schedule in a bid to get some strength back into his legs.
But he dismissed suggestions he would be underdone heading into the Etihad Stadium game.
“I only missed Thursday and Friday’s session, had a full contact session yesterday,” Gallen said.
“The physio said my knee might swell a little, but it didn’t swell up at all – it’s looking fine.
“As far as the full physical preparation goes, I can’t have done any more than I’ve done.”© AAP 2013