Napa's 'different calibre' of toughness inspiring Papalii

Maroons powerhouse Josh Papalii has been inspired by fellow prop Dylan Napa’s determination to play with a broken wrist for Queensland on Sunday at Optus Stadium in Perth.

Napa played with the fracture in Canterbury’s round 14 loss to the Roosters and the break was confirmed by Maroons doctor Matt Hislop.

The Bulldogs enforcer has been wearing a wrist splint from day-to-day but trained with just strapping around the injury on Wednesday and did everything required with the rest of the squad.

Napa, who will start alongside Papalii in Origin II, has also spent several three-minute sessions in a mobile cryotherapy chamber owned by company Kryofix.

The mobile chamber is parked outside the Intercontinental Hotel in Perth where the Maroons are staying.

Inside the chamber the temperature can drop to 100 degrees below freezing and aid in fast tracking player recovery.

Maroons prop Josh Papalii.
Maroons prop Josh Papalii. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"I will give it to Naps. He is playing with a so-called broken wrist. He’s just in a different calibre I guess with that toughness he is showing," Papalii said.

"That will give me confidence. Having Naps next to you just gives you that belief. He is that the bloke next to you who won’t let you down. He is just one of those scary players you are glad is in on your side and not playing against you.

"Naps has started before. Everyone knows what he brings, a lot of aggression, and we are going to need that at the start of the game."

Napa told NRL.com recently of the special bond he shares with Papalii and the feelings are certainly mutual.

"We have played a lot of footy against each other. We got the chance to finally come together at Queensland level. That bond is pretty strong," Papalii said.

"But my bond with a lot of boys in this camp is very strong, but Naps is Naps. Everyone loves the Napa.

"It's pretty sad that Jai [Arrow] is missing out on this game after that ankle injury, but in saying that I get to start with Naps and Moose [Josh McGuire]. We are going to go out and hopefully do the job."

Papalii, with 13 Origin games for Queensland under his belt, has the presence of Maroons mentor and legendary prop Petero Civoniceva in camp to remind him of the legacy he continues as a starting prop for Queensland.

"I’ve watched video of Petero and how he goes about his business and just how tough he was," Papalii said.

Match: Maroons v Blues

Game 2 -

Full Time
Maroons

Home Team

Maroons

Scored 6 points
Blues

Away Team

Blues

Scored 38 points

Venue: Optus Stadium, Perth

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network

"In tough times he was still going. I take a bit out of his book and hopefully take that out on the field.

"I thought we started okay in game one, but a bit slow from my perspective. I thought I could have done a lot more but I've got a chance to start better this game."