NSW halfback Trent Hodkinson says he and new Blues five-eighth Mitchell Pearce have combined well, while his own flagging confidence came flooding back as soon as he entered the NSW camp.
Shortly before the Blues side was named Hodkinson admitted his form has been "below par" in 2015 but also guaranteed that, if given the chance, he would step up for NSW.
Sitting down with NRL.com after the Blues' final Coffs Harbour training session on Sunday, Hodkinson praised Pearce's contribution to the week and said his own confidence had been immediately boosted by being part of the Origin set up again.
"[My confidence] is right where it left off last year, it was right back there from day one," Hodkinson said.
"My form hasn't been great but I know I'll be able to do my job for the team, I've spoken to Laurie [Daley] with what I've got to do for the team and lead the boys around and stay calm.
"It can get quite frantic in Origin. I'm very excited and all the players are so I've got to keep the boys calm and do my job."
Hodkinson and Pearce have never played alongside each other before despite both making junior rep sides and being the same age – 26. Pearce played Australian Schoolboys, Hodkinson Junior Kangaroos, and each has represented City Origin and NSW – but as halfbacks, never in the same team before now.
"No never, I've never played with 'Pearcey', we were always sort of competing against each other in the same position so that will be good [to play alongside each other for a change]," Hodkinson said.
"We did [gel pretty quickly], it was pretty good from day one, we spoke just before the first session and 'Loz' [Daley] has made it clear what we need to do for the team."