NSW skipper Paul Gallen has urged his side to embrace the hate they will encounter from Queensland fans at Suncorp Stadium for State of Origin III on Wednesday.
Gallen remains one of Origin’s all-time reviled figures as far as Marooon fans are concerned and with the Origin series on the line the Cronulla captain is expecting an emotionally charged atmosphere.
In a game Gallen described as “the biggest in Origin history”, he said they couldn’t afford to be overwhelmed by the Queensland cauldron that is awaiting them.
“We have to embrace the hate, we have got no choice,” Gallen said on Tuesday.
“There is no point going out there thinking of it as a daunting atmosphere, it is a good atmosphere. I enjoy playing there. There is no other stadium like it in the world.
“It is a really good stadium to play at. I am really looking forward to it.
“They can be as hostile as they want, I’m just hoping we can keep them quiet.”
Gallen again brushed off questions about his possible retirement after game three, saying his sole focus was on his performance in the decider.
“Without doubt this is the biggest Origin in history, I probably say that most press conferences but that’s how big the game is,” Gallen said.
“It does keep getting bigger and better every year and there is no more important game in my career than this one.”
He continues to be troubled by the rib injury he picked up in Origin II, but Gallen said he would be right to play on Wednesday.
“I am good, I haven’t missed a session,” he said.
“I didn’t do contact earlier in the week but I did full contact on Saturday and Sunday.
“I am fine. The ribs will be sore after it, there is no doubt about that, but on the field they will be numb.”