NSW to send Gallen out a winner
They may have already lost this year's State of Origin series, but the chance to farewell outgoing captain Paul Gallen in style means the Blues won't be lacking in motivation according to NSW forward Josh Jackson.
Jackson, now the most experienced player in the Blues' back row in terms of Origin games played, said the players were focused on sending Gallen out a winner on the Origin stage.
"It's disappointing for the series to be already over so there certainly won't be any motivation lacking there. For our captain, to send him out on a win is so important," Jackson told NRL.com.
"He really deserves to go out a winner. With all he's done for New South Wales, he deserves it for sure."
Even with fellow back-rowers like injured Roosters forward Boyd Cordner, 2016 development players Bryce Cartwright and Jake Trbojevic and Titans firebrand Ryan James waiting in the wings, Jackson insisted he wasn't focused on a strong individual performance to boost his prospects of future selection.
"At the end of the day, the team is bigger than the individual, we're playing for a lot more than ourselves," he said.
"We're playing for the state, we're playing for our teammates and our families. You definitely can't have a selfish point of view and I don't think anyone in this team do.
"We're all for winning the game for New South Wales."
Andrew Fifita is another who sees Gallen's retirement as the Blues' inspiration in what is in reality a dead-rubber fixture.
Fifita has had the honour of playing with Gallen at the Sharks since his arrival there in 2012 and said Gallen's opinion was the one he trusted above all others.
"I can't speak on behalf of the boys but for myself it's a massive game. Gal's always been that captain courageous to me," an upfront Fifita told NRL.com.
"To be honest, I've always just tried to prove to him that I was a good player. If I get a 'good game, big boy' from him it means I did my job.
"I don't care what the coaches think, what management or stats say. I only care about what Gal says."
The respect for Gallen within Laurie Daley's 17 was one reason why the NSW coach never contemplated denying his captain an Origin farewell in Game Three.
"He's given great service to New South Wales through tough periods and I think he needs to be rewarded for that," Daley said.
"Hopefully people are respectful of what he's been able to do through those tough times."