Frizell thriving in rugby league Origins

Scott Bailey
Tyson Frizell has emerged as a leader of a NSW State of Origin side stacked with rookies

In another world, State of Origin lock Tyson Frizell could already have already played a heap of games for NSW.

Of the Waratah variety in the 15-man game that is, not the Blues.

Because when Frizell runs out onto the MCG next Wednesday night against Queensland, it will kick off an incredible week for his family.

Frizell's sixth game for the Blues - making him something of a veteran in this inexperienced NSW side - will come just four days before his brother Shannon is in line for his possible debut for the All Blacks against France.

Separated from a young age on different sides of the Tasman, Frizell has kept a close eye on his brother's rapid rise after he only made his debut for the Highlanders in Super Rugby this year to the New Zealand squad.

But at one stage he was on a similar path, as an Australian schoolboys representative in the 15-man game.

"It was an opportunity that came up early in my career," Frizell said.

"You never know what could have happened. I did go overseas and play schoolboys but league gave me an opportunity and I haven't looked back ever since.

"I'm enjoying my footy playing here. It's got me to where I am today."

Where Frizell is today is one of the key men in the NSW forward pack desperately trying to turn the tide of Origin.

Frizell was called aside earlier in the week alongside five-eighth James Maloney and captain Boyd Cordner and told it was there responsibility to lead the 11 rookies.

The Dragon's role in that will be pivotal.

He's roomed with halfback Nathan Cleary, who is charged with the responsibility of guiding the Blues' next era despite being aged 20 and having never played for the Blues before.

Frizell will also defend inside an all-rookie right edge, making his role as a bodyguard for Cleary and stopping the Maroons isolating those further outside him even more important.

But the 26-year-old said he'd made a point to tell the Blues rookies he had their backing heading into their first game.

"They're all here for a reason," he said.

"You never know if you're going to get an opportunity to play Origin again. It's three games in a series and you could play one and not play again.

"It's just making the most of the opportunity. It's everyone's childhood dream to play Origin and you just want to embrace it and make the most of it.

"That's all I've said to the boys. Take it all in, Origin is a different beast"