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Cameron Smith's calming influence has put Tino Fa'asuamaleaui's mind at ease as the Queensland forward prepares for a heavier State of Origin workload.
The 22-year-old was adamant he didn't deserve to be selected, critical of his own form in a losing Gold Coast team despite sitting third in the NRL for post-contact metres and third among forwards for running metres this season.
Even in Origin camp the Titans captain can't escape his clubland nightmare, in the stands with his Maroons teammates to watch his side limp to another NRL loss on Thursday night.
Reuniting with former Melbourne title-winning teammates Billy Slater and Cameron Smith has proved a timely tonic though, Smith in particular working his magic ahead of Wednesday's series opener in Sydney.
"He's just got high standards about his own game, he's his own toughest critic," Maroons assistant coach Smith said.
"Results with the Titans haven't helped but if you look at only his own game, he's been a shining light for them.
"He looks good in camp; energetic, out there trying to get knowledge out of guys like (fellow assistants) Nate Myles, (Johnathan) Thurston and Bill (Slater) obviously.
"He's ready to go and a really important part of the Queensland outfit."
Fa'asuamaleaui said a chat with Slater on arrival in camp had convinced him he deserved to be there and Smith's influence since had been crucial for a side set to debut four players.
"He just gives you that comfort; it reminded me of being back at the Storm," he said.
"When he speaks it's just so calm, he makes it sound easy. He just comforts us and gives us a lot of advice and in camp just keeps everything chill."
He said he had no regrets leaving Melbourne as a title winner to join the Titans, who have battled in a 3-10 start to the season.
"These are the times we have to learn and take it in," he said.
"I hate losing and anyone who plays footy should hate it too.
"That's why I signed for a long time; I want to be the one that changes it. But it does hurt."
Fa'asuamaleaui usually plays lock but will shift to prop alongside Josh Papalii, with debutant Reuben Cotter to wear the No.13.
"At prop I just get the ball more and run hard, which is what I'm excited for," he said.
"Reuben does it all and Paps is a beast. He (Paps) said he was filthy he cut his hair, because the whole forward pack would have had mullets.
"So he's growing it back now."