Could Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler send an SOS for lucky charm James Maloney for the State of Origin series this season?
The former Blues five-eighth is now plying his trade for Catalans Dragons in Super League but played a pivotal role in helping deliver the Shield to NSW for the past two years.
The former Penrith Panthers five-eighth was overlooked for selection in Game One last year before earning a recall for Game Two in Perth to help save the series.
In Part II of The Selection Fittler recalls the exact words Maloney greeted him with the moment he entered camp for the must-win match.
“Freddy! Mate, did you lose my number?” Maloney joked.
Fittler said: “It set the scene straight away.”
The Blues coach revealed in Part I of The Selection the reason why Maloney was not selected to play in Game I.
“Our five-eighth from the year before, James Maloney wasn’t doing that great of a job for Penrith,” Fittler said.
“We place a huge importance on you being a great player for your club.”
Maloney’s experience in the Blues No.6 jumper, along with his already established halves paring with teammate Nathan Cleary, made for the most ideal combination heading into Perth.
“He has an ability to bring a team together,” Fittler said.
“It’s quite amazing.
“He’s had a massive part of every single win we’ve had, and he’s been an absolute vital part of the team.”
Maloney has since made a transition into the Super League, signing a three-year deal with the Catalan Dragons.
‘Freddy’ joked he had been blocking calls from a mysterious French number on his phone but added he might have to answer them by the end of the season.
“Come November, we’ll see what our injuries are like, and I might just start taking that call,” he said.