Boyd Cordner has been retained as captain in a Kangaroos merit team that features emerging NRL premiership-winning stars Tino Fa’asumaleaui and Ryan Papenhuyzen.
NSW captain James Tedesco is one of two players who know what it’s like to play a State of Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium, but he can’t give his teammates any advice on the occasion – because he’s forgotten it.
“I don’t even remember it. When was that?,” he told AAP.
In fact, it was just three years ago. The last time they lost a series.
The Blues fullback and second-rower Tyson Frizell were a part of the 2017 team that was beaten 22-6 by Queensland in Brisbane with the shield up for grabs.
It’s the last time the Blues were involved in a decider in enemy territory and they famously find it hard to win there – the last time being 2005.
Furthermore, the Blues have not won in Brisbane in two games under Brad Fitter, and the last win at the ground was game one of the series Tedesco has forgotten.
“I remember the good ones,” he said with a smile.
“I don’t know if it’s a loss or a bad game, I try not to dwell on it too much or think about it too much because if you give it some energy then it’s constantly on your mind.
“I honestly can’t remember.”
What he does know is he misses the feeling of running out to a packed out stadium – and they’ll experience it for the first time in 2020 in Origin III.
The forgetfulness is part of his strategy of moving on quickly from things that don’t serve him – like a loss – and putting his time towards being better each time.
And that’s the advice he’ll give the Blues when he is called to impart some captaincy wisdom ahead of Wednesday night’s showdown.
“Decider or not we know there’s going to be a full packed stadium of Queenslanders booing us and jumping down our throats,” he said.
“You can waste a lot of energy worrying about that.
“We can’t control what the crowd is like and what the atmosphere is like.
“For us, we can control how we play and for us it’ll be our first packed stadium that we’ve played in all year so I can’t wait.”