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I'm still good enough for Origin: Gallen

Former NSW State of Origin captain Paul Gallen believes he's still good enough to be named in the NSW side, but doesn't regret his representative retirement.

I'm still good enough for Origin: Gallen

Former NSW State of Origin captain Paul Gallen believes he's still good enough to be named in the NSW side, but doesn't regret his representative retirement.

Paul Gallen reckons he wouldn't look out of place in a NSW Origin jersey this year, but insists he has no regrets over his representative retirement.

The former NSW Origin captain will be absent from Laurie Daley's Blues team when it is selected on Monday, as the 35-year-old prepares to sit out his first series since his debut in 2006.


Despite his age, Gallen has still been one of the Sharks' best forwards this season, and topped 150 running metres for the eighth time in 11 games in Cronulla's 18-14 win over North Queensland on Thursday night.

"I wouldn't say I regret it because I made a commitment to the club," Gallen said.

"But I think I'm playing good enough that if I was there no one could really argue with it."

Gallen will be given a long-earned holiday over the State of Origin period by Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan - which the Sharks skipper jokes he might take in Queensland.

But in the meantime he has a serious senior role to take on at the Sharks.

Cronulla could lose as many as five players to the interstate series, and this year face two matches without their Origin stars - against both Canterbury and the Wests Tigers.

Five-eighth James Maloney and prop Andrew Fifita are considered certainties for NSW, while utility Jack Bird and back rower Wade Graham are likely join them.

Fullback Valentine Holmes is also considered a likely shot of being named on the wing for Queensland.

But Flanagan admits its in the matches following those where they are absent he has the most concerns about.

"After Origin is the hardest thing for most Origin players," Flanagan said.

"The mental side of things when they come back they are drained.

"It probably doesn't hurt as much week one when they're out, it's a couple of weeks later you start to see those effects of being up for so long.

"It'll be good to have Gal not have to go through that period."

Gallen ended his Origin career as the Blues'third-most capped player with 24 matches, and captained them to their only series win in the past decade in 2004.

Meanwhile, the lock said he believed Sharks Holmes should be set to make his State of Origin debut for the Maroons.

"He's an Australian player, he's playing well and brings that ball back hard," Gallen said.

"But I put my NSW hat on and my Sharks hat I hope he's here."

AAP


AAP



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