Fringe Queensland forward Jarrod Wallace expects a post-season State of Origin campaign to be ideal for players.
The COVID-19 crisis and disruption to this year’s schedule means the three Origin games in 2020 will be played on three consecutive Wednesdays in November, after this year’s NRL premiership has finished.
Gold Coast prop Wallace, who has played six Origins for the Maroons since 2017, believes the change will ensure fit and focused teams unhindered by club concerns.
“You don’t have guys that are playing Wednesday night and then have to back up on a Friday,” Wallace said.
“You won’t have those double games in a week.
“The bodies will be a lot fresher and the energy will be there.
“Obviously Origin is 10 times faster, 10 times more physical so sometimes it really takes it out of you late in the season when you’ve had to double up in that Origin time.”
Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy said he had warmed to the idea of an end-of-year Origin campaign but warned the toll of back-to-back-to-back games could be high.
“They’re used to playing Origin, but they’re not used to backing up the next week,” Bellamy said.
“How they recover and the team that loses the games, how they deal with that setback and get back on the horse again, I’ll be really interested in how they handle that.”
On a personal note Wallace will use the Origin as added motivation to perform right through the season as he attempts to force his way back into Kevin Walters’ plans.
After being overlooked for game one of last year’s campaign, Wallace returned to the Maroons’ line-up for the 38-6 hiding by NSW in Perth in game two.
He was axed for game three and later hit out at his dumping, arguing he hadn’t been given enough minutes to perform at Optus Stadium.
He remained however hopeful of regaining his Maroon jersey.
“It’ll always be in the back of my mind to make sure that if I’m playing well at the club I’m ready to put my hand up for Queensland,” he said.
“At the moment I’m just stoked that we’ve finally got a draw and we get to start playing some football next Friday.”