RABBITOHS giant Dave Taylor was the most notable omission from Queensland’s side for next week’s first State of Origin encounter.
The wrecking ball played all three games in last year’s series but was named 18th man this week as Corey Parker and Jacob Lillyman make their returns to the Origin arena.
Travis Meyn caught up with ‘DT’ to see how he feels he’s travelling this year.
You must be happy to be back in Camp Maroon but I guess you’d rather have a different number on your back?
“It was a disappointing start to the season for myself.
“I’m stoked just to be in the picture. If you asked me in round five or six ‘do you reckon you’ll be playing Origin?’, the answer would have probably been no.
“I was quite disappointed with the way I started the season.
“I’m starting to patch things up at the moment.
“I’m starting to play stronger football and it’s starting to show.”
Can you pinpoint why you started the year poorly?
“There’s no real reason.
“In that first game (40-29 loss to the Roosters), it was a knock to the confidence.
“To come out and play like that ... I struggled a bit.
“I played well in round 3 and I’m slowly starting to progress.
“I’m quite lucky that I’m back in the picture.”
What does being picked as 18th man do for your confidence?
“I’m glad that Mal’s still thinking about me and hasn’t shunted me aside.
“At least I know that if someone does go down, they’ve got faith in me to do the job.
“That gives me a world of confidence that I can take away to my club and play strong 80 minutes of football for the Rabbitohs.
“If I keep playing well and a spot opens up in game two or three, I’ll grab it with both hands.”
What are you hoping to get out of being 18th man for the week?
“I just want to bond with the boys and learn as much as I can about where I’m at.
“I’ll try and work with Mal and see where he thinks I’m at.
“I’ll just try and continue my performance further.”
How’s life with a little family now?
“Life’s unbelievable. I’m at a great point in my life.
“Having two little girls in my life now is just unbelievable.
“I realise now that it’s not just about me and football.
“Family comes first. I’m having a wonderful time.”
“At least I know that if someone does go down, they’ve got faith in me to do the job.”
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