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Crichton brothers face off in NSW Origin warm up

Christian Crichton took a day off work at Kennards Hire and vowed not to make his brother Stephen's life easy in NSW State of Origin camp.

A 34-game first-grader with Canterbury and Penrith, Crichton returned to the big leagues on Thursday as part of a St Marys side facing up against the Blues.

Four years Stephen's senior, Christian makes no secret of the fact he once grew up bashing his younger brother in backyard footy.

"I used to whack him," Christian said.

"Then he grew, and just kept growing."

Nowadays, Stephen stands around 11cm taller than Christian, with his long and powerful limbs making him one of the most electric players in the NRL.

The two were meant to face off in the Blues' camp ahead of the State of Origin series opener, only for Christian to miss out because he couldn't get the day off work.

But on Thursday, the 27-year-old got a chance to go at his superstar brother again while playing wing and on the same side of the field as Stephen.

"I did (jam in) a few times there ... I would love to whack him but not being full contact (I couldn't)," Christian said.

"It was good. We train a lot together so it's not anything new.

"In this environment being around the Blues camp, we just want to do our job to make sure they're getting out of the session what they need to."

Stephen Crichton with his brother Christian.
Brothers Christian (L) and Stephen Crichton (R) enjoy a moment during the Blues' camp. (Supplied Nswrl/AAP PHOTOS)

Part of the Bulldogs' NRL squad in 2021, Christian missed Stephen's grand-final heroics after flying out of the Brisbane bubble and being unable to return.

But he won't miss a chance to see his younger sibling attempt to make history at Suncorp Stadium again as the Blues try for a rare win there in a decider.

And even he can't believe the X-factor Stephen has turned into for NSW, and the way his brother's game improved so dramatically on moving to Canterbury this year.

"Coming through the grades he was in division two. It wasn't until 16s and 18s that he really got good," Christian said.

"The thing about him is he's just always keen to learn and that's what's developed his game throughout the years.

"It was good for him going to the Dogs.  It challenged him a bit more to stake a step up rather than (staying comfortable).

"He's like a sponge, he just wants to learn, it's got him to where he is, so he's not too afraid to fail."