Cordner vows to lead Blues his way
THIS is Paul Gallen's parting gift to the Blues. A motto to live their Origin careers by.
It's something that struck a chord with new skipper Boyd Cordner.
The youngest captain of a NSW side since the great Brad Fittler, the 24-year-old Cordner was part of the group in camp last year when Gallen imparted some words of wisdom.
There was a group of 19 men spending the week in Coffs Harbour, with two development players invited into camp, when Gallen addressed the squad.
"He said just because you get given an Origin jersey, doesn't mean you're an Origin player," Cordner said of Gallen's address.
"That hit home for me. I took that advice on board. It was before my first game last year."
It was a piece of advice that made an impact on Tyson Frizell. He was yet to make his debut but it's something he's thought about since.
The same goes for Cordner.
So much so, one of Cordner's first acts after succeeding Gallen as leader of the Blues was to pass the message on to the fresh faces in Origin camp.
"The first day in camp, it was what I passed on (to the new boys)," Cordner said.
"I said I got it from Gal. I thought it was really useful."
But what does it mean?
"It means taking those big moments and making them your own," he said.
Less than 48 hours away from leading the Origin side on to Suncorp Stadium for the first time, the Roosters leader spent Monday soaking in some rays in Byron Bay with his teammates in a bid to stay relaxed.
Cordner admits he is feeling the pressure that comes with being the captain of the state.
But, fortunately for him, he has been leaning on teammates like Aaron Woods, Wade Graham and Mitchell Pearce to help guide him.
"It's pretty massive but it's made my job a lot easier with the group of guys we've got in the team," he said.
"They're all natural leaders at their clubs which makes it a lot easier at training.
"Away from training there's a lot more responsibility and pressure but it's something I'm looking forward to and learning along the way."
While Gallen was a fiery leader who pulled no punches when it came to speaking his mind, Cordner is more of the quiet type.
Cordner acknowledged that while days before the game was when Gallen would typically come out and make an outlandish or controversial statement, "that's not my style".
"I'm sorry because I want the hype to be how it normally is and this is the time to do it but I haven't thought about it," he said.
Instead, Cordner will leave the talk for the sheds.
Like the game, the pre-game speech is something he's not trying to give much thought just yet.
He finds it's best letting it come naturally.
"It's normally a spur-of-the-moment thing. Whatever you're feeling, that's best," he said.
"Normally if you have anything planned for that sort of stuff, it comes across like you don't mean it. I'm going to wait and see how the feeling is."