Morris Stoked for Dogs Debutants
Blues centre Josh Morris has run the eye over his fellow Bulldogs, NSW rookies Josh Jackson and David Klemmer, and he can't wait to see what each brings to the Origin arena on Wednesday night.
With a changing of the guard in the Blues forwards – Paul Gallen (hip), Greg Bird (suspension) and Anthony Watmough and Luke Lewis (not selected) – 28-year-old Morris suddenly finds himself one of the side's most experienced Origin campaigners and says the fresh energy of the young debutants is a boost.
"They're very excited. They've been playing really good football for us for the last two years and this is a just reward for them. They've been outstanding for us and hopefully that can transpire into a good game on Wednesday night," Morris told NRL.com.
Morris conceded it was "a bit funny" walking into camp and not having those four names, with their combined 65 Origins of experience among the playing group.
"I feel like one of the old blokes now. Last year I wasn't as old but that's the thing, you have to move out for the younger players eventually and that's the way Loz [Laurie Daley] has gone, but in saying that these guys have been around the system now for a couple of years and they know our values and what the squad stands for so it's not like they're coming into anything new."
Jackson usually starts on an edge for the Bulldogs but the starting lock role he has been handed for Wednesday's series opener isn't an entirely unfamiliar one, having starred there for Country against City during the Rep Round.
"I think anywhere Jacko plays he gives 100 per cent and he won't want to let anyone down. Being his first game I'm thrilled for him and I really want him to enjoy the week and I expect him to have a big game on Wednesday as well," he said.
And what will Klemmer bring to the side when he comes off the bench?
"Haha – aggression! Definitely aggression," Morris laughed.
"He uses every part of his body on the field and he's a hard man to bring down so we're certainly going to look for that lift off the bench when he comes on."