NSW skipper Paul Gallen has predicted a spiteful State of Origin encounter when rugby league’s interstate series resumes.
Gallen said a genuine dislike exists between the Blues and Queensland and has predicted that to come out in force at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday in the series opener.
“It’s an Origin game and a lot of NRL rules go out the window,” Gallen said on Tuesday.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of niggle in every single tackle. There’s a lot of emotion and a lot of passion from both sides. We both love it, we both hate each other and at the end of the day we’re trying to hurt each other.”
Matt Moylan, Adam Reynolds, Josh Mansour and Dylan Walker will make their State of Origin debuts for NSW and Gallen said he had prepared his rookies for a fire and brimstone opener.
“The debutants will be ready for that,” he said.
“They’re not coming here to pull on the blue jumper and just be happy to be here, they’re here to make a difference, which I’m sure they will.”
Corey Oates and Justin O’Neill play their first matches for Queensland.
Maroons forward Corey Parker and Blues interchange prop David Klemmer will do battle again following their heated clash in game two last year.
Parker walked out on a press conference last week when asked about the relationship between the two.
But Gallen doesn’t believe Queensland are intimidated by Canterbury enforcer Klemmer.
“I don’t think at this level there is intimidation any more to be honest,” Gallen said.
“Everyone is big enough and tough enough. It’s just about doing your job to the best of your ability.
“The intimidation is gone, you can’t punch anyone any more. All you can do is get stuck into each tackle.”
Maroons halfback Cooper Cronk remains in doubt for the match due to an ankle injury.
However Gallen dismissed the fitness concerns as nothing but mind games from Queensland and said the Blues expect the Melbourne superstar to play.