Mitchell Pearce has taken his NSW axing on the chin and is determined to return to State of Origin.
An Origin series win will likely remain elusive for Pearce after he was overlooked for the series opener in Sydney on Wednesday for debutant Adam Reynolds.
Blues coach Laurie Daley has indicated that, barring injury he will stick with his game one team for the rest of the series.
That means Pearce, who was one of eight players axed from the Blues after last year’s 52-6 humiliating defeat in the series decider, will have to wait until next season at least until he can return to the NSW line-up.
Pearce’s Sydney Roosters teammate Boyd Cordner said the 15-game Origin halfback understood why he was not part of the Blues’ set up this year, following a delayed season start as he dealt with personal issues.
“He just sent me a text congratulating me on my place in the side and that is the kind of bloke he is,” Cordner said.
“He is not bitter at all. He understands the situation that he is in now and as a mate I will be there 100 per cent for him.”
Pearce’s chance of keeping his Blues jersey was seriously hampered by an eight-game NRL suspension as a result of his drunken Australia Day disgrace.
Regardless Cordner said his 2013 premiership-winning teammate was aiming for a return to Origin.
“It is obviously something that you always want to play, you don’t want to miss it,” he said.
“It is a credit to himself the way he has dealt with everything that has happened.
“He has put all that other stuff behind him and moved forward.
“He is back at the Roosters now playing some good footy.
“He is in a good mindset and I’m sure he understands as much as anyone why he didn’t get picked for Origin and that is the way it is.
“He is not upset at all.”