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Childhood anguish driving Lomax's Origin ambition

Halfway through 2017, Brad Fittler described Zac Lomax as 'the gifted one'.

That was well before Lomax had come anywhere close to NRL and before Fittler became the State of Origin coach.

Now, Lomax is a part of the Emerging Blues squad. The pair have worked together in the past when the Dragons' rising star was a part of the NSW Under-18s team in 2016 and 2017.

It's a realistic chance that one day, 'the gifted one' and the most capped Blue will reunite at State of Origin level.

Lomax was yet to see Kindergarten class when Fittler scored 'that' famous charge-down try, but in the years to follow – three times a year during school – he was one of those kids that would rush home to watch the epic interstate battle.

Unfortunately for Lomax, most of his formative years were spent watching Queensland celebrate successes.

"As Freddy says, Origin is what you dream of when you're young and it's one hundred per cent true," Lomax said to

"Every Wednesday night when it comes on I'd go to school and couldn't wait until I got home to sit on the lounge and watch TV for as long as possible.

"I'd end up crying when we would lose.

"It would mean the world to be able to pull on that Blues jersey in the big one against the Maroons, if that day comes I'll cherish that moment forever."

Lomax has so much potential that half of his NRL games have been finals matches.

After an injury ruled him out for two months after his debut, Paul McGregor was not afraid to throw Lomax into the deep end at Suncorp Stadium.

It was Week One of the finals and whoever lost was eliminated. The Dragons were up against it in front of 50,000 Queenslanders. Lomax started just his third game at right centre and was tasked with goal-kicking duties.

"At Suncorp Stadium to walk out on the field with 50,000 people there you get goose bumps on your arm," Lomax said.

"To have all of the Broncos fans booing at you it's a real good feeling and to win up there was a big thing and we definitely took a lot of confidence out of it.

If Lomax has a perfect start to the season, it won't be the last time he confronts 50,000 Queenslanders.

"I'd love to be able to play State of Origin [in 2019], that's the goal."

"That seems like a bit of a long way at the moment, but who knows what next year can bring and hopefully I can just be as consistent as I can.

"[A perfect year would be] just playing consistent footy, being in the starting 13 each week for the Dragons and being there for my teammates."

It's no secret that Fittler is a big fan of Lomax and the feeling is certainly mutual.

He's had the opportunity to learn off him for years and after seeing first hand what he did with the juniors, it was no surprise that he led the Blues to victory this year.

"Freddy is unreal, he brings a different aura about him and is someone that you really look up to and you want to listen to.

"Everything that he says is quality and he's been there and done it so it only shows from what's been produced this year through the Origin period.

"That's a massive pat on the back for him and he's doing really well for himself and the NSW team."​

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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