Paul Gallen offered to quit State of Origin last year, but NSW coach Laurie Daley turned him down.
Gallen has made the revelation following calls for him to stand down from Origin III in the wake of the Blues’ series-losing defeat in game two.
Daley has indicated he will give retiring Blues skipper Gallen a farewell match in Origin III next month and Gallen has no plans to step aside.
However, Gallen said on Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast on Tuesday he could have quit Origin last year, if Daley had wanted him to.
“I spoke to Laurie last year when we did a review of 2015, and I said ‘Loz, if you want to go in a different direction, I’m quite happy to retire from rep football’. His reply to me was: ‘mate, I’m going to pick the best team possible’ and, if I’m not the best player, I won’t be there.
“I think my club form has shown that and that’s all I can do, play good for my club and, if I get the opportunity to play for NSW, I’ll do my best.”
Gallen said he was at a loss to understand Phil Gould’s controversial post-Origin comments labelling the NSW leadership group as selfish.
A frustrated Gallen says he is perplexed by Gould’s comments and neither he nor vice-captain Robbie Farah understand the criticism levelled at them.
“I’m at a bit of a loss to the whole thing,” Gallen said.
“I’m not going to come out and say that I’m selfish, I’m a p****, I’m this and that … The only people that can judge me on that is my teammates and my coaches.
“They’re the ones who should be asked the question. Two of them have been in the recent week and they’ve answered it that we’re not.”
Gallen also refuted Gould’s claims he received too much ball while the Blues were on the Queensland line, arguing he wouldn’t be selected if he didn’t follow the team’s game plan.
Instead, he labelled the former NSW coach’s comments “open-ended”, maintaining he still wanted to meet the analyst to discuss the issues.
The Cronulla captain is one of several players under review ahead of the dead-rubber, with calls made by former NSW players to also move on fellow veterans Farah and Greg Bird as well as centre Michael Jennings.
However, he maintained there was no chance he would be standing aside, insisting he would leave the decisions on selection to coach Daley.
“I don’t know how many more changes we can make,” Gallen said.
“There have been 11 different players this year from last year – you’re talking about the majority of the side there.”
Gallen also indicated he offered his representative retirement to Daley last season in the event he had wanted to take the team in another direction.