They may have been wearing green and gold but the Kangaroos boasted too much Maroon for Greg Bird’s liking in the trans-Tasman Test.
Now NSW favourite son Bird is determined to show Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga the error of his ways in the upcoming State of Origin series.
Just four Blues players were selected in the Kangaroos’ 17 for the recent clash against New Zealand.
They got the job done with a 16-0 win at Newcastle – albeit with plenty of criticism from the likes of Phil Gould.
Bird was pretty filthy too – but for different reasons.
Bird was overlooked despite strong form for the Gold Coast, extending his drought.
The Titans enforcer last played representative football in the 2015 trans-Tasman Test last April where he copped an eight match ban for a dangerous throw.
It ruled him out of the entire 2015 Origin series.
The veteran of 15 Origins since 2007 has been champing at the bit since.
Especially after being reminded of how many Queenslanders were in last week’s Kangaroos side ahead of the Titans’ NRL clash with Sydney Roosters on Monday night.
“It was disappointing being overlooked,” Bird said.
“But I think a fair few New South Welshman were pretty disappointed with being overlooked for that Test team.
“We have a perfect opportunity to make amends in a couple of weeks.”
Bird has made a habit of overcoming adversity.
Overlooked for the Titans captaincy this year after off-field controversy, Bird has responded with strong form despite being in a Titans outfit that has lost five straight.
By March NSW coach Laurie Daley all but guaranteed Bird Blues selection.
“I might guarantee him his position in the 17,” Daley told Fox Sports TV.
Bird wasn’t taking anything for granted but dared to dream of a NSW return – and a bit of Blues revenge.
Queensland have won nine of the last 10 series.
“I don’t know if he has guaranteed me,” Bird said of Daley’s endorsement.
“But it is good to get that backing from him.
“He is a good mate of mine.
“It doesn’t change the way I play – I try not to get suspended these days.
“But it’s not different.
“I look forward to getting back with the NSW boys and hopefully bring that title back south of the border where it belongs.”