James Maloney admits he thought Origin days were over for this year following game one snub
New South Wales five-eighth James Maloney admits he thought he wouldn’t play again in this year’s State of Origin series following his game one snub.
Maloney was left out after a poor start to 2019 with Cody Walker getting the nod for the series opener to partner Nathan Cleary on the back of his hot start to the season for South Sydney.
However, a turnaround in form from Maloney and a quiet showing from Walker in the Blues’ game one loss opened the door for the series-winning halfback to return.
The 33-year-old steered NSW to a record victory in game two over Queensland to equal the series and Maloney told Halftime he was focusing on just playing well for Penrith.
“I never really thought it,” Maloney said.
“People sort of say when you miss out, it’s a long series and you never really know what’s going to happen.
“I guess you feel it’s just a little bit of a comforting word, you’re not really too fussed about it.
“It’s pleasing to turn things around at Penrith and get our season back on track out there.
“To have this on the back of it, I’ve always loved being a part of State of Origin, I love playing in that arena so I’m really excited to go back out there again and have another chance.”
With Nathan Cleary ruled out due to an ankle injury, Maloney will partner Mitchell Pearce in the halves.
Maloney has played in 13 Origin games since debuting for the Blues in 2013.
State of Origin three will be played at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday, July 10.
Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.