I’m still good enough for Origin: Gallen


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    Paul Gallen reckons he wouldn’t look out of place in a NSW Origin jersey this year, but insists he has no regrets over his representative retirement.

    The former NSW Origin captain will be absent from Laurie Daley’s Blues team when it is selected on Monday, as the 35-year-old prepares to sit out his first series since his debut in 2006.

    Despite his age, Gallen has still been one of the Sharks’ best forwards this season, and topped 150 running metres for the eighth time in 11 games in Cronulla’s 18-14 win over North Queensland on Thursday night.

    “I wouldn’t say I regret it because I made a commitment to the club,” Gallen said.

    “But I think I’m playing good enough that if I was there no one could really argue with it.”

    Gallen will be given a long-earned holiday over the State of Origin period by Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan – which the Sharks skipper jokes he might take in Queensland.

    But in the meantime he has a serious senior role to take on at the Sharks.

    Cronulla could lose as many as five players to the interstate series, and this year face two matches without their Origin stars – against both Canterbury and the Wests Tigers.

    Five-eighth James Maloney and prop Andrew Fifita are considered certainties for NSW, while utility Jack Bird and back rower Wade Graham are likely join them.

    Fullback Valentine Holmes is also considered a likely shot of being named on the wing for Queensland.

    But Flanagan admits its in the matches following those where they are absent he has the most concerns about.

    “After Origin is the hardest thing for most Origin players,” Flanagan said.

    “The mental side of things when they come back they are drained.

    “It probably doesn’t hurt as much week one when they’re out, it’s a couple of weeks later you start to see those effects of being up for so long.

    “It’ll be good to have Gal not have to go through that period.”

    Gallen ended his Origin career as the Blues’third-most capped player with 24 matches, and captained them to their only series win in the past decade in 2004.

    Meanwhile, the lock said he believed Sharks Holmes should be set to make his State of Origin debut for the Maroons.

    “He’s an Australian player, he’s playing well and brings that ball back hard,” Gallen said.

    “But I put my NSW hat on and my Sharks hat I hope he’s here.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • May 19th 2017 @ 9:32am
      Jeff dustby said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      So is mundine

      • May 19th 2017 @ 10:04am
        dayer said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

        good 1

    • May 19th 2017 @ 11:01am
      Albo said | May 19th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

      He is playing better than ever right now. But then the Sharks game plan revolves around him and Fifita hitting the ball up constantly. So he is getting plenty of metres and plenty of kudos. On the other hand, players around him are getting frozen out of the game. Luke Lewis a more than handy attacking forward played 80 minutes last night for 3 carries ?? I think Gallen’s dominance in the play for NSW over the years also limited the opportunities for others to shine and possibly contributed to the QLD record of success over the past decade.

    • May 19th 2017 @ 3:33pm
      GD66 said | May 19th 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

      He never really did have much of a Plan B in his game. Tough bugger, but enough already.

    • May 19th 2017 @ 8:00pm
      db said | May 19th 2017 @ 8:00pm | ! Report

      Paul Gallen, the man who has never been introduced to shame.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 19th 2017 @ 11:36pm
        William Dalton Davis said | May 19th 2017 @ 11:36pm | ! Report

        My favourite was when he accused DCE of blatantly cheating (can’t remember the exact quote) last week after his dive. I mean come on Gal. Glass houses and all that.

        Been in great form this year though. As much as I dislike his personality it’s what he does on the field that counts.

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