By Chris Kennedy (NRL.com)
Dragons back-rower Tyson Frizell is hopeful his recent stint in NSW camp as 18th man is an indicator he may be in the frame for a Blues side looking to replace injured left-edge forward Boyd Cordner for Game II but isn't getting ahead of himself.
Frizell is predominantly a right side or middle player, though he started his career on the left, and hopes that versatility works in his favour in what currently looks to be a two-horse race between himself and in-form Sharks left-edge back-rower Wade Graham.
"Yeah, fingers crossed!" Frizell laughed when fronting media after Dragons training on Wednesday.
"There's not too much I can do other than do my best for the Dragons. What they plan on doing I'm not sure but I'll be there waiting if I do get the opportunity but other than that I'll be doing my best here."
He admitted there is a difference between playing left and right side and conceded if NSW coach Laurie Daley determines he has to go with a specialist left-edge forward then the matter could be out of his hands.
"It is [different]. There's players that can do both. I've played most of my career on the right and started my career on the left and can kind of play in the middle too but there is guys that specialise in one side," he said.
"I feel that I [am comfortable in all]. For that Origin position I'm not too sure what he wants to do, if he wants a specialised left hand side there's not too much I can do about that but do well for the Dragons."
Frizell took his recent experience as 18th man as a sign of encouragement and refused to get frustrated by the news, one day into camp, that he would be one of the two players released from the 19-man squad.
"It's disappointing but looking back on it now, there's a lot of guys that would love to be in the position I'm in," said Frizell.
"You're kind of dirty on yourself, you want that little bit more but you also look at it and see how far you've gotten and hope you can get that one step further.
"At the start of camp there was a few of us that were unsure if we were playing or not so for the two sessions I was there I was slotting in like I was playing and when I did get the nod saying I'd be on standby, pretty much I just hung around and did what was needed.
"You sort of prepare as normal because like you saw with Duges (Josh Dugan), Josh Morris was there on standby and he had to prepare like he was playing and he got the late call up."
Frizell also refused to be discouraged by the fact that other players, such as Graham, had a chance last week to press their claims as well as games early enough in Round 14 (as opposed to the Dragons' Monday fixture against Canterbury) to further stake their claims before the squad for Origin II is finalised.
"That's fine. I get my opportunity this weekend. I loved my time away, I got a bit of time last year to get away after the Origin period so for myself it's been a nice freshen up," he said.