Frizell: Focus Is Against The Raiders

By Jack Brady (NRL.com)

The excitement and anticipation for State of Origin is reaching boiling point and the term 'bolter' is being used exponentially but Dragons forward Tyson Frizell continues to prove why he's the real deal.

While he is an Origin bolter in every sense of the word, there are plenty of other quality forwards seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order but Frizell wouldn't look out of place swapping the Red V jumper for a sky blue one.

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The 23-year-old has been a huge force behind the Dragons resurgence in 2015, helped largely by a six-game winning streak which came to end at the nahdsnm of the reigning Premiers on Monday night.

Frizell has averaged 38.7 tackles and 106.3 metres and would certainly hold his own in the Origin arena, however, it's not a driving force behind his good form. 

"It would be nice to find my way in the team but at the moment I'm neither fussed nor worrying about that," Frizell said.

"I'm just happy to be back after my two-game suspension and finally putting a personal 80 minute performance together so I'm just worried about playing good footy at the moment and whatever happens, happens.

"Everyone wants to be playing well so they can hopefully make [Origin] but you always want to put your club first so I'm just doing whatever's needed for this team and if I get selected off the back of that then I'll be more than happy to take that spot. 

"I've heard a little bit [about my Origin chances] but you don't try and listen to that kind of stuff, if you start listening then you probably start going away from playing good footy and become complacent. I'm just trying to play well for the Dragons at the moment."

It's amazing what a difference 12 months can make in a young footballer's career and considering Frizell spent a fair chunk of 2014 either playing in his unfavoured prop position or holed up on the sideline with ankle dramas, he has bounced back in a big way alongside fellow back-rower Joel Thompson.

"I'm pretty happy being back in the back row this season but last year I was doing what was best for the team and I tried my best in the middle there," Frizell said. 

"It's something which brought a bit of versatility in my game and if they ever needed me to do it again I know now I can handle that."

A humble individual, the Welsh international Frizell credited the likes of halves Gareth Widdop and Benji Marshall for helping him get to where he is currently.

Frizell believes playing alongside two internationals of the calibre of Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop has helped him figure in Origin calculations.

"Obviously it's enjoyable playing outside guys like Benji and Gareth. As the weeks go on I find myself being more and more confident as I find my feet a little bit more," Frizell said.

"You can learn a lot off those two, they have both played for their countries so playing outside them is a privilege." 

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The Dragons will proudly be supporting the Joanne Mackay Breast Cancer Foundation as part of Women In League Round against the Canberra Raiders at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Sunday.

The Foundation is in honour of the wife of former St George, Illawarra, St George Illawarra, NSW and Australian representative Brad Mackay who sadly lost his wife to breast cancer.

The Joanne Mackay Breast Cancer Foundation is a long-term Dragons charity that focuses on the fundamental and emotional needs of patients and their families during the treatment of breast cancer.

The Foundation will facilitate several activities in and around the venue on game day to raise donations including a bucket collection which take place around the venue as well as several stalls where official scarves and other paraphernalia will be available for purchase.

Additionally, representatives from the Foundation as well as Bria Mackay will help form an on-field guard of honour for the players when they take to the field prior to kick-off.

Furthermore, the team will proudly be wearing pink socks in recognition of the Foundation when they take to the field.

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Additionally, the Dragons have launched a new “Flexi Pass” three game Red V Membership that will allow supporters to choose which of remaining home games they want to attend during the 2015 season, across all venues.

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