Dyldam Parramatta Eels centre Will Hopoate says he wasn't expecting the phone call on Monday night officially advising him to pack his bags and prepare to head to Coffs Harbour with the VB NSW Blues.
For Hopoate, his best football is a work in progress, and a place in the Origin I side is another opportunity to hone his skills and build his consistency.
“It’s definitely very exciting to be a part of it and surprising at the same time,” Hopoate said before he left Eels HQ to join the Blues side.
“I’m still a bit surprised at the call, I don’t think I’ve been playing my best footy. But I’m grateful and I want to show that on the Wednesday night.”
Hopoate was part of the Blues side for Game 2 in 2014, the night that the Blues broke their Origin series drought at ANZ Stadium, and the Blue and Gold centre says the side will need to push their memories of the celebrations to one side as they begin training this week.
“There’s obviously confidence there,” Hopoate said.
“We’re going to have to put that behind us and move forward to come away with another win. It’s always good to play in front of a home crowd, and hopefully we can bing the result home with their support and their voices.”
State of Origin I kicks off at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday, May 27.