Leaner and meaner Queensland enforcer Josh McGuire reckons the new interchange rule will expose the NSW bench in Wednesday night’s State of Origin opener in Sydney.
McGuire chisselled away 5kg from his 180cm frame as he recovered from an Achilles injury that sabotaged his 2015 NRL season.
And he expects that to play to his advantage in Origin I with just eight interchanges now allowed.
Picked on the bench by new Queensland coach Kevin Walters, McGuire believed his new level of fitness since overcoming injury would help give the Maroons the edge.
“I am looking forward to Origin especially with the new rules,” he said.
“That plays into my game a bit more which is nice.
“There’s speed around the ruck and a change of direction which is something I like to do.
“It’s no secret I am not the biggest front rower out there so I make people work hard and use my feet.”
McGuire said Blues coach Laurie Daley’s forward-heavy bench gameplan would be exposed judging by a quick glance at NRL trends this year.
“Obviously the eight interchanges (reduced from 10 this year) gets forwards tired – you can see it at NRL level,” McGuire said.
“I am hoping that it does (fatigue NSW) but it depends on how much ball we have.”
The stage is also set for payback on NSW captain Paul Gallen who escaped suspension for dropping his elbow on McGuire’s throat ahead of this month’s trans-Tasman Test in Newcastle.
Not that McGuire is sweating on redemption.
“He’s in the middle and we will meet at some stage of the game but I just want to win for Queensland,” McGuire said.
Much has also been said about McGuire’s looming bench battle with Blues firebrand David Klemmer.
But the mobile McGuire again insisted that he could not be compared with a brute such as Klemmer.
“I am a different footballer to David,” McGuire said.
“There is a big difference (in size). David is bigger.
“And the way I play is a different style.
“But in the end I guess both of us will try to get the momentum going – that is what I plan to do.”