NSW State of Origin captain Boyd Cordner enjoys a lighter moment in camp.
NSW State of Origin captain Boyd Cordner enjoys a lighter moment in camp. PAUL MILLER

Cordner reveals mature Hayne is lifting Blues

NSW captain Boyd Cordner believes Jarryd Hayne has become a key weapon for the Blues off the field as much as on it.

While the Gold Coast Titans star has flown under the radar externally during the Blues' week-long Origin camp at Kingscliff, the opposite could be said for his impact internally.

Emerging as a general for Cordner, a new and improved Hayne has impressed with his maturity and positive influence.

"You can see that he's a lot more grown up. He's a lot calmer. I think he's at peace with himself and it's good to have that experience around the boys," Cordner said from the NSW team's headquarters at Kingscliff.

"He's an unreal leader as well. He doesn't keep to himself and he shares his opinions, which is invaluable."

 

Jarryd Hayne (centre) arrives for a NSW State of Origin training session with Matt Moylan (left) and James Maloney.
Jarryd Hayne (centre) arrives for a NSW State of Origin training session with Matt Moylan (left) and James Maloney. DAVE HUNT

With his big-game reputation, Hayne will be crucial to the Blues' chances of ending Queensland's modern dominance after returning to the fold following a stint in the National Football League with the San Francisco 49ers.

Cordner, who assumed the captaincy following Paul Gallen's retirement from Origin duties last year, said having Hayne back in the Origin fold would make his players walk taller.

"There's something about Origin that makes him tick. So hopefully we can get that out of him (in) game one," Cordner said.

 

He can break a game open with one touch. So having a player like that in the team will be real good for us.

 

Despite Queensland missing superstars Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis, Matt Scott and Billy Slater, Cordner said the Maroons could never be underestimated.

While former captain Gallen wasn't shy in fuelling the pre-game fires, Cordner said he would let his actions on the field do the talking.

"At this time of year, there's usually something that comes out to hype it up, but (throwing barbs) is not my style. I've got a lot of respect for Queensland," he said.

"You're not going to get too many opportunities up there (Suncorp). It's one of the toughest games you're ever going to play. It's going to be massive for us to go up there and win."

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