Cook wary of Allan impact for Queensland

Pamela Whaley
·2-min read

NSW star Damien Cook was in two minds when told his NRL teammate Corey Allan was named to make his debut for Queensland.

There was elation for his South Sydney teammate - and then dread at knowing what he was able to achieve with little NRL game time in 2020.

But the old cliche that they're focused on themselves and not worrying about Queensland is at least true of the Blues ahead of Wednesday nights' decider.

Cook didn't know on Saturday that coach Wayne Bennett named Allan to make his State of Origin debut.

"Was he really?," he said.

"Oh wow, that's awesome for him.

"Uncle Wayne has come through for him there."

But just where 'Uncle Wayne' plans to play the 22-year-old remains to be seen.

Allan was named on the wing but could be shifted to fullback where he played six games for the Rabbitohs this year, scoring four tries.

"He used to be my favourite player when he was on the wing because the amount of times he just saved tries for us, he just got his body in the right position or little efforts to get back and make sure he did enough to stop the try and they're just as important as scoring," Cook said.

Allan's elevation to the No.1 jersey at Souths came after star fullback Latrell Mitchell was struck down with injury late in the season.

It took him two weeks to warm into the role before shocking most with his ball skills and athleticism at the back despite his reputation as 'the social loafer'.

Cook is wary he could shock again no matter where he plays in Origin III.

"Corey had an outstanding year for us," he said.

"He came in off the back of Latrell' injury and it was a big ask what he did.

"He did whatever was asked of him and he played some outstanding football.

"He's a big reason why our attack was so good at the end of the year."

And as happy as Cook is for his teammate, there'll be no congratulatory text coming from the NSW camp.

"I won't congratulate him until after the match though, I won't talk to him until then," Cook laughed.