I’VE seen some headlines over the past week with people talking up my chances for a State of Origin jumper this year.
It’s nice to be linked to higher honours, but Origin isn’t at the forefront of my mind.
The Tigers are my focus and the way I am looking at it, any talk from outside about rep footy just presents an opportunity for me to handle a bit of added expectation.
It wasn’t too long ago that I was a young kid coming into first grade and people were calling me the next this and the next that.
It put a lot of weight on my shoulders very early in my career, and I’ll admit I didn’t quite know how to deal with it as a teenager.
I feel thankful now that I’ve gone through all that and I can use that experience to help me this time around.
Of course, that’s not to say that I don’t desire to play State of Origin footy.
Representing NSW has been my dream since I was a kid and if one day I get to pull on that famous blue jersey it will be a highlight of my career.
We all have memories of watching Origin when we were younger, cheering on the Blues and booing the Maroons.
I remember my Dad bought my brothers and I Blues jerseys one year. I got the No. 2 which was Timana Tahu’s number at the time.
I wasn’t even a winger, but I used to love watching Tahu and I was pumped to be wearing the same jersey as my footy idols.
People keep asking me if I think I’m “ready” to represent my state.
Honestly, I don’t think anyone knows if they are ready until they are out there in the middle of it on game night.
It’s not something I’m putting time or energy into anyway.
I can’t control what people say about my game, and I know I can’t control whether or not I get picked in the NSW team.
I just have to keep my focus on what I can control, and that’s what I’m doing at training and on game day for the Wests Tigers.
Rep footy can seem a way off when things aren’t firing at club level, but the first six rounds of our season this year have gone pretty well and I’m doing everything I can to help keep that momentum going.
We have started reasonably well and want to play in the finals this year, but every other team is the same.
The key for us is consistency which is a week to week thing.
I feel really confident in my own game and our team collectively, but we need to keep working hard and turning up for one another every chance we get.
From there, the rest will take care of itself.