Crichton ready to prove Fittler right

Scott Bailey
Angus Crichton is keen to impress in his first State of Origin for NSW

Brad Fittler knew Angus Crichton was made for State of Origin before he even made an NRL debut, and now the South Sydney back-rower is ready to prove him right.

Crichton was arguably the biggest surprise in the 17 unveiled by NSW coach Fittler earlier this week, after he turned it on for the Rabbitohs in the past few weeks.

Fittler has paid close attention to Crichton over that time, even going to the length of requesting GPS data from Souths over the past month to measure his performance.

But the pair have a close relationship dating back to Crichton's time in a 2015 Emerging Origin camp where Crichton's output was first noted by Fittler and NSW Rugby League officials.

"We do some testing at NSW Rugby League, last year he was a part of the 20s group," Fittler told The Sunday Footy Show last June.

"What you do, you end up with a number and he was 10 per cent higher than the next person.

"That's for power, strength, agility. They have all these things they put into a computer, they come up with a score.

"He flogs them."

And Crichton is ready to prove Fittler's feeling that he has the motor for Origin at the MCG next week.

"In one of the biggest arenas I can't wait to put my hand up and show what I'm capable of," Crichton said.

"We've got a really fast team across the park and really mobile.

"Origin every year you watch it, it's non-stop, it's free-flowing and there's not really much time for rest. And if you do, you get found out."

Much of the focus of Fittler's team since it was announced has been on their edge-of-your-seat backline, but the team's pack also has plenty of new faces.

NSW will have three Origin rookies starting in the middle come next Wednesday night, as well as another three debutants coming off the bench.

And Crichton said he was in no doubt as to how important their job would be in providing momentum, ruck speed and territory for the flyers out wide for their attacking approach to work.

"Your forwards have got to get your sets started and lay a foundation for your backs and roll your sleeves up," Crichton said.

"It doesn't matter what level you're playing at, State of Origin, club or park footy. Your forwards are there to do a job, it's personal and you're there to take them on."

Crichton will also have an extra motivation in camp, given the backing from his coach has come from the same man he used to idolise in the Sydney Roosters jersey he will don next year.

"It's unreal. He was my favourite playing growing up as a kid," Crichton said of Fittler.

"And to be having him as my coach I still get a little star struck seeing him around."