Tom Trbojevic in sad State of Origin admission amid Latrell Mitchell's Blues threat

The Sea Eagles star says he has never considered missing a representative footy game he didn't have to.

Sea Eagles star Tom Trbojevic says skipping State of Origin or any representative football is never an option for him. Trbojevic's comments come after the Manly fullback was urged to consider retiring from representative footy last year after having his NRL season ended by a torn pectoral muscle which he picked up in Game II last year.

Trbojevic is a vital part of Manly's premiership hopes and there were calls for the 2021 Dally M Medallist to retire from the representative arena to protect his body. A year on from that injury the fullback has remained injury-free in 2024 and is almost certain to be selected in the NSW backline under new coach Michael Maguire. And Trbojevic says he would never consider skipping Origin like Souths star Latrell Mitchell has threatened to do.

Tom Trbojevic left and Latrell Mitchell right
Sea Eagles star Tom Trbojevic says skipping State of Origin or any representative football for him is never an option. Image: Getty

Mitchell is reportedly considering making himself unavailable for Origin in a bid to help rebuild the Rabbitohs' season. But Trbojevic says that isn't something he would consider even if he were to pick up another injury in this year's State of Origin.

"Yes, I definitely want to play. I'm very passionate about NSW," Trbojevic said. "It hasn't really been a thought of mine (to skip it). I want to be playing for NSW, it's one of our biggest arenas and one of the biggest honours in the game."

Trbojevic also admitted talks that he shouldn't return for the Blues in 2024 upset him. "Did it hurt me? A little bit," he continued.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 21:  Tom Trbojevic of the Blues is assisted of the field after an injury during game two of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on June 21, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Tom Trbojevic had his season ended by a torn pectoral muscle suffered in Game II last year.

"But it was more the fact that I hurt myself two minutes into a game, we lost the series and I didn't play for the rest of the year. When it all happened last year when I was injured I can understand the talk coming out that I shouldn't play.

"But when it comes around you want to be playing the biggest games. So I definitely want to be out there."


The 27-year-old also doesn't believe if Mitchell opts to sit out of this year's Origin series, other clubs and players will follow suit. NRL officials stated on Monday that players are contractually obliged to make themselves available for selection and clubs must also release players if picked.

There are, however, some exceptions to the rule. For example, last year Kalyn Ponga pulled out of the Maroons squad on medical grounds, after an extended period out of action following repeated concussions. Souths centre Jack Wighton also made himself unavailable for selection, however, that was only permitted due to him making a permanent retirement from State of Origin.

As things stand, Mitchell technically would not fit either of those categories so if he attempted to make himself unavailable, he could face opposition from the NRL. And NRL bosses are not concerned about it ever becoming a league-wide issue, given the $30,000 match payments and the players' desire to represent their state.

Trbojevic also doesn't believe it will ever be a problem, stating clubs don't pressure players to sit out and as a whole players are honoured to represent their state. "It's not like pressure from clubs or anything (to sit out)," Trbojevic said. "Seibs (Manly coach Anthony Seibold) isn't coming to me and asking me not to play and I'm sure that's not the case with Latrell."

with AAP