Blues’ mission to conquer a champion team
BLUES coach Laurie Daley says he's confident rookie halves Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds will slot straight into the New South Wales side during camp in Coffs Harbour ahead of Origin I.
Daley told today's press conference the decision to drop Roosters halves Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney was a tough call, but one that was in the best interests of the Blues.
The side faces the enormity of trying to overturn Queensland's eight year State of Origin dominance starting in Brisbane next Wednesday night.
"In terms of it being a gamble, well it's always a calculated gamble you don't throw someone in without thinking it through," Daley said.
"If someone plays well we like to reward that and we will reward that, that's what it's about grabbing your opportunity and making the most of it.
"While we like short term success part of my job is to create a team that is not only going to sustain pressure in the short term but build on that success over a long period.
"It's always a hard decision to change the halves ... and it's not a phone call you want to make."
"The last couple of years the players have believed they can win, I don't think in any game you go out there not thinking you can win," Daley said.
"But to believe you are going to win you have to prepare well.
"Performance comes first along with desire and the attitude to be here.
"This team has plenty of self belief, it will come down to a few crunch moments.
"We need to make sure we are consistent in our performance for 80 minutes."
"We will do our best to match a team of champions it's all about our preparation, we are prepared to work hard make some sacrifices and knuckle down in camp in Coffs Harbour."
The Blues fly into Coffs Harbour this evening at 7.50pm.
Footy fans are being invited to roll out the welcome mat for the team at the airport.
The team will also be involved in schools visits and a footy clinic at the Ce.x stadium on Thursday from 4pm.
NSW BLUES TEAM ORIGIN I
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Michael Jennings
4. Josh Morris
5. Brett Morris
6. Josh Reynolds
7. Trent Hodkinson
8. James Tamou
9. Robbie Farah
10. Aaron Woods
11. Ryan Hoffman
12. Beau Scott
13. Paul Gallen (c).
Coach: Laurie Daley