I don’t think I can ever remember a period of such intense speculation and comment leading into the selection of a NSW Origin team. I have never heard so many differing opinions from people as they all put forward the team they would like to see selected.
So what has caused this unprecedented level of conjecture surrounding the selection of 17 players to represent our state? I would say it has plenty to do with the Blues having lost eight – yes eight – State of Origin series in a row.
It’s been a truly horrible period for the Blues. Frustration and desperation are the overriding feelings. However, such emotion should not influence the motivation when planning NSW’s future campaigns. For the past five years anyway, teams have been selected with a fair degree of short-sightedness. Panicked decisions aimed at getting a short-term result have only exacerbated the situation.
I wish someone during this period had taken the attitude, ‘‘You know what? I don’t care if it takes us three years to win a series, because when we finally do, we will be in a position to win five series in a row’’.
We’ve lost eight series in a row! What is it we are holding onto? Why should any player who has been involved with this recent debacle ever think they have a right to be involved in current or future teams? We should use this series to find players of the future, not to satisfy public opinion or to avoid criticism from sections of the media.
Let’s hope such thinking prevails during the course of this Origin series.