Sydney Roosters players have welcomed Dylan Napa’s Queensland loss as a gain for the club during a crucial part of the NRL season.
Both Phil Gould and Darren Lockyer declared Napa’s man-of-the-match effort in the Roosters’ first win of the season over South Sydney on Friday as one of the best they had ever seen from a prop.
Normally such a performance would have Napa pencilled in for a start in the Maroons’ side for this season’s State of Origin series.
But the 23-year-old isn’t available for selection after breaking curfew at an Emerging Origin camp earlier this year.
That will leave Napa available over the crucial eight-week Origin period when other clubs will be weakened without their representative players.
“I am obviously very disappointed for Dylan but they are the lessons he will have to learn,” Roosters three-quarter Shaun Kenny-Dowall said on Tuesday.
“We will benefit from having him there, but he is definitely an Origin player of the future. It was a pretty special performance from him. He is a pretty aggressive guy, he has shown that before but not in a complete 80-minute performance like that.”
The Roosters were without Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner and Aidan Guerra at stages throughout the Origin period last year.
This season Guerra is the only probable Origin selection in the Queensland side.
Jennings has moved to Parramatta, Tupou hasn’t been mentioned as a NSW chance, while Pearce’s ban and Cordner’s injury are likely to rule them out of the running for the Blues side.
It gives the Roosters a great chance to claw back momentum after their five losses to start the season.
“It is a plus for the Roosters that (Napa) is not available for Origin because we are going to need him this year and for him to play in every game for us is a massive bonus,” Roosters prop Kane Evans said.
“Even though he would want to make Origin he will have to wait but he is more than capable of playing it.”
The Roosters play Penrith in the final match of round seven at Allianz Stadium on Monday.