He may been injured just 10 minutes into the Warriors first trial, and thus has not played a game all year – but for Warriors prop Jacob Lillyman, who will make his return for the club this week, his first game of the season – he is keen to make his mark, and prove that he is still Origin material.
Lillyman still has a few weeks to knuckle down and show QLD selectors that he should be considered, after he passed a fitness test yesterday – following his early season torn bicep injury.
“I was third man into a tackle and had the guy in the air when the other defenders pulled him down and it was too much for my arm,” Lillyman said.
“I thought I might be out of the game for a few more weeks, but the strength and size (of the arm) was good, so I tested it out with heavy contact work, and there are no shortage of big guys here to test it on.”
The return of Lillyman will have their foes this week in the Brisbane Broncos, even more vigilant of the Warriors outfit that they are set to face.
“He’s a tough fella and if he’s playing it will be a great match-up for our tight forwards,” Broncos forward Matt Gillett said.
“He has the experience to give his side a lot of impact.”
Having attended the test match at Eden Park on April 20, Lillyman immediately felt the euphoria of the occasion, and the atmosphere at the ground made him remember his own representative memories, particularly those of the 2011 season.
“I played Origin I and got dropped for the second match,” Lillyman said. “NSW beat us in Origin II and they brought me back.
“I’m really thankful for that chance and it would be nice to get another go. But playing Origin has not featured in my imagination because I have just been concentrating on getting back on the field.”
Despite a slow start by the Warriors standards, Lillyman also says that coach Brian McClennan has the support of the playing group.
“He is a good communicator and he has a good football brain,” Lillyman said.
“We have a few new players and we have had a lot of injuries. We have been inconsistent, but in the last fortnight we have improved and we’re heading in the right direction.”