Manly Warringah Sea Eagles fullback Tom Trbojevic didn’t feel his hat-trick of tries on the eve of the Westpac NSW Blues team announcement was a ticket into Game One.
“Maybe, not too sure. It’s given me some good confidence going into this week,” Trbojevic said.
“Look it certainly wasn’t going through my head (three tries against Canberra Raiders)… I’ve just been working really hard all year. I will say it was good to go out there and get a win like that.”
Trbojevic heard the chatter that he wasn’t running as fast or as strongly as before his hamstring injury last December, which led to him going to the United States to work with conditioning guru Bill Knowles.
“I really didn’t doubt myself. I guess it does wear you down (the external commentary) because you can’t really escape it,” he said.
“That’s just part of the game, but I felt good within myself.
“Wearing the (NSW) jersey is very special. It is good to be back playing in it.”
Fittler also had no misgivings selecting Trbojevic at centre once again. He’s scored nine tries in eight games but missed the 2022 series with a left shoulder injury.
“He’s always on the radar, he’s a quality player and a quality person,” Fittler said.
“I’ll always consider Tommy if he’s available… and very rarely has he let us down.”
But there will be only one Trbojevic in the NSW camp as older brother Jake has succumbed to a calf injury, flaring again during the 42-14 win over the Raiders at GIO Stadium on Sunday.
“I’m obviously disappointed my brother is not here. I love playing with Jake. He was really good for us yesterday,” Trbojevic said.