By Jack Brady (NRL.com)
New South Wales’ 18th man and Dragons back-rower Tyson Frizell was grateful for the opportunity to be in the Blues’ camp earlier in the week despite being overlooked for Origin I.
Frizell and veteran Bulldogs centre Josh Morris were named in Laurie Daley’s initial 19-man squad last Monday and in the Dragons back-rower’s case was widely expected to make his State of Origin debut in Game One at ANZ Stadium.
However the 24-year-old was instead overlooked for a Blues’ bench jam-packed with big boppers Andrew Fifita, David Klemmer and James Tamou.
Frizell responded the way he knows best over his Origin snubbing with a commanding performance in the Dragons’ 14-12 win over the Cowboys.
Earning the praise of coach Paul McGregor, Frizell thrived within his newfound role at the Red V by sharing his time between the edge and middle third where he produced over 100 metres and 38 tackles.
"I was disappointed in a way but really grateful for the opportunity. There’s a lot of boys out there that would be dying to be in the position that I’m in," Frizell said.
"I see it in that way. Hopefully my opportunity comes soon but if I don’t, I’ll just be doing everything I can down at the Dragons."
Frizell was afforded the opportunity to sit down with Daley and talk through why he wasn’t selected for Origin I once the Blues’ 17 was settled on Wednesday afternoon.
"[Laurie] just said he wanted to go with the players that he did. It wasn’t too much more than that. I was happy with his decision," Frizell said.
"That’s the way he thought was best for Game One. In saying that, he said keep going the way I am and an opportunity will come hopefully soon."
Frizell will re-enter New South Wales camp as one of the squad’s shadow players upon their arrival back in Sydney on Sunday.
The Corrimal Cougars junior maintaining that even if he wasn’t he’d still be supporting New South Wales on Wednesday night.
"I want nothing more than the Blues to do well," Frizell said.
"As a person, as part of the team and as a Blues supporter, I want nothing but victory for the boys come Wednesday night. I’ll be doing everything I can to help the boys prepare for that."