It’s odd hearing Ryan Hoffman refer to NSW teammate Josh Jackson’s output as “rubbish”, but he says there’s no better word and that’s why he’s primed to make an impact in his State of Origin debut.
Jackson is the newest face in a formidable back row which will line up for the first game of NSW’s Origin shield defence at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.
While Origin I will be Jackson’s maiden Blues jersey, the Canterbury back-rower is experienced for a rookie, having started in the 2012 and 2014 grand finals and made his Australian debut in last year’s Four Nations.
Hoffman said Jackson was the kind of player who has ready made for Origin because of his willingness to do the nitty gritty or “rubbish work”.
“Origin is a different beast all together but Josh was part of the squad last year,” Hoffman said.
“He was in camp and he got to experience it. He’s been bashing on the door for a while now wanting to get an Origin berth.
“You know what you want to get from Josh. He does a lot of that, for lack of a better term, the rubbish work.
“If you need someone to push up with you, he’ll be there. If you need someone to come through and make a tackle then that’ll be him.
The Blues will boast a monster bench after electing for a four forward rotation, with the Queenslanders giving more than 40kgs to their opponents.
Prop David Klemmer will be the Blues’ second debutant, starting off the bench, and Hoffman said he had a chance to make the spot his own.
Hoffman said Klemmer, who tips the scales at 120kg and stands at two metres tall, is blessed with self confidence and wouldn’t take a backwards step against the Maroons.
“Klem has made a nice little niche for himself coming off that bench,” Hoffman said.
“He’s a young and enthusiastic front rower and everyone loves to see the hard stuff.
“He’s not arrogant but he’s confident in his own ability. You take that any day of the week.”