Emotions of disappointment at the debut fuel Edwards

Emotions of disappointment at the debut fuel Edwards

George Clarke |

Emotions of disappointment at the debut fuel Edwards
Penrith chief executive Dylan Edwards is happy to finally step into a NSW Blues State of Origin jersey.

Dylan Edwards locked himself in his car and had a tearful moment alone as his hopes of making his State of Origin debut were taken away after completing extra training.

But back to full fitness and recalled to the NSW squad for game two next Wednesday at the MCG, Edwards is keen to make up for lost time.

The Marathon man fullback from Penrith has been knocking on the door for the NSW squad for the past two years and finally got his chance when he was named to replace incumbent Blues captain James Tedesco for Origin I.

The twist in the story came when Edwards trained at NSW’s Blue Mountains base on the weekend before the series opener.

The 28-year-old suffered a quad injury, forcing Tedesco’s reprieve, with Edwards forced to watch Origin I from the penalty area with Blues coach Michael Maguire.

Edwards has fought for years to establish himself as an NRL player and after finally receiving an Origin call-up, the heartbreak of missing his debut hit hard.

“It was the disappointment of having worked so hard for so long and then it just disappeared,” Edwards told AAP.

“I didn’t really think about the future (and whether I would be back in blue).

“I was lucky that my family and my fiancé were up there at the resort we were staying at.

“I just had a moment with them and then for myself where I let my emotions flow.

“I don’t often get that emotional, but it meant a lot.”

Penrith teammate Liam Martin said Edwards had shown great strength to put on a brave face and continue to play a role in the Blues camp.

“He restrains himself quite well and didn’t want to show any emotion with the boys. He wanted to keep that energy up,” Martin said.

Blues coach Maguire had no hesitation in bringing Edwards back to help NSW take the series to the next level and Panthers captain Isaah Yeo says the fullback will have no worries about throwing himself into the Origin oven.

“The harder and harder the game gets, the better he seems to be going,” Yeo said.

“On the biggest stage in the grand finals he is at his best and he excels. I don’t think it will be any different on Wednesday.”