Watmough ready for Maroons challenge
Anthony Watmough insists he’ll be fit and firing for NSW in next week’s State of Origin clash in Sydney after undergoing two cortisone injections for his neck problem.
The Manly backrower missed out on selection for the Blues’ 18-10 defeat in game one in Melbourne with coach Ricky Stuart unconvinced he would be able to get through the game without being able to train during the week.
The 27-year-old received the jabs on Monday before linking up with his teammates in camp at Coogee, but has not missed any games for Manly after injuring himself in training ahead of the Sea Eagles’ win over Brisbane last month.
“It feels really good and a lot better than it did this time last week. I am walking about and up riding a bike to keep fit and I am itching to get amongst the boys,” said Watmough.
“If I didn’t think I could play I wouldn’t go into it. It felt good before I got the needle. There was no after-effects, numbness or weird feeling so that is good.”
Watmough, who will start on the bench for the Blues, will not take part in contact training until later this week but he maintained that it will not detract from his ability to have an impact in a game NSW must win to avoid a seventh successive series defeat.
“Hopefully I’ll be training later in the week, but not any contact work for a little bit,” he said.
“We’ll give it a good go before the game and make sure it’s all steady.”
Watmough believes the Blues’ performance in Melbourne should give the side plenty of confidence going into the game and that there’s not much between the sides.
“I thought we were unlucky, we were dominant up the middle and had Queensland on the run for a while and I thought they were really unlucky not to win,” he said.
“Watching the boys running around today it is like they have been playing together for years.
“That is a good thing when you can come in to camp and fit straight in.”
NSW skipper Paul Gallen, Todd Carney and Jarryd Hayne joined up with the rest of the players on Tuesday morning following Parramatta’s dramatic 29-20 win over Cronulla on Monday.
Hayne scored two tries in the win, which was only the second game the Eels have tasted victory in this season and Watmough is hoping it will be a ominous sign for the Maroons.
“The Hayne Plane is back and it is good for rugby league and hopefully for us,” he said.© AAP 2013
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