AAP Rugby

Qld’s Wallace embraces Origin return

By AAP Newswire

Two weeks ago, Jarrod Wallace watched State of Origin I as a Queensland fan.

And the Gold Coast Titans prop feared he would suffer the same fate for game two until a last minute call from Maroons coach Kevin Walters.

Injuries to forwards Joe Ofahengaue and Wallace's mate, Titans teammate Jai Arrow, created vacancies in the Queensland pack ahead of Sunday's Origin II in Perth.

But after being dropped for the Maroons' series opening win following criticism over his 2018 Origin efforts, Wallace was not taking anything for granted.

Then Walters called - much to his relief.

"It was very nerve wracking to tell you the truth. I got the call pretty late," Wallace told QRL website.

"Obviously Kevvie had to make a pretty hard decision with a few things up in the air so I didn't get it until about 5.20pm.

"I am not going to lie, I had thoughts in my head that this isn't going to happen, he is going to go in a different direction again.

"But then I saw his (Walters') name come up (on the phone) and when he said I was back in I was over the moon."

Wallace said he had not been able to wipe the smile off his face since Walters' call.

No wonder.

Wallace was much maligned for his 2018 Origin display.

Named in the starting front row, Wallace managed just 52m in game one and 43m in Origin II before producing 82m after being relegated to the bench for the dead rubber.

Wallace then found himself watching Origin I this year sitting next to former Brisbane teammate Andrew McCullough as a punter at Suncorp Stadium.

"I was actually at the game. It was a rollercoaster to watch," he said.

"Andrew McCullough and I were sitting there watching it together.

"We were on the edge of our seats right until the end."

Now Wallace hopes to make spectators sit up and take notice in his Origin return off the Maroons bench.

"I will be looking to have my best game, make sure I am really putting in, try to add what the boys did in game one," Wallace said.