Trbojevic bounces back as Blues prop

·2-min read

Jake Trbojevic admits his horror start to the NRL season was his lowest ebb as a footballer.

Trbojevic has recovered to win a starting spot in NSW's pack for Wednesday night's State of Origin series opener, running on at prop for the first time.

But it was only two months ago that Trbojevic was wracked with doubt, Origin the furthest thing from his mind.

The 27-year-old is known for riding results like few others in the NRL, as one of the game's most passionate players both on and off the field.

But in the opening four weeks at Manly, there were few highs as the Sea Eagles sunk to last on the ladder.

"You try not to think about (Origin); it just all got so frustrating," Trbojevic told AAP.

"I wasn't great if I'm being honest. It was tough, very tough.

"I don't think it could get much worse. They were four big losses and at the start of the year, you start with so much optimism.

"To go down like that was so disappointing."

The Sea Eagles' opening four weeks were the worst start to a year in both attack and defence in Manly's 74-year history.

They have since somehow recovered to sit in seventh on the ladder, with an even record of 6-6 and a friendly run home.

And while all the talk has fairly been about his brother Tom since his return, the turnaround with Jake has been incredible.

The middle man has regained his ball-playing ability with Tom, while his defence has also firmed back up to keep his Blues jersey.

"It was just mentally tough," Trbojevic said.

"You probably doubt yourself a bit. I'm just happy we've won a few now.

"You find it hard to stay positive, I'm not going to lie. It's probably something I need to work on.

"I was just happy we were able to turn it around which made life a lot easier. It's a relief."

Trbojevic's move to prop to start alongside Daniel Saifiti will mark just the second time he has started there at any level since March 2016.

But he doesn't see any need for change in his game against Queensland in Townsville, given he still plans on playing as a ball-player in the middle at times.

"It's pretty similar. I have played it before. I have played it in my early days for Manly and (off the bench) for NSW," Trbojevic said.

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