Meticulous rehab pays Origin II dividends for Murray

NSW forward Cameron Murray says he never held concerns over his ability to overcome a groin injury in time for the crucial second State of Origin match.

© Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS
Cameron Murray has overcome a groin injury to take his place in the NSW side for State of Origin II.

Murray suffered the injury in South Sydney’s defeat of Gold Coast on June 3, limping from the field and beginning a race to line up for the Blues at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

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NSW coach Brad Fittler conceded early last week that picking Murray in his team for Game II was a risk, given the 25-year-old would only have his first full training session on the day before the Blues flew out to Brisbane.

But the Rabbitohs captain made it through that session unscathed on Sunday and put in a large amount of work in the previous session training two days before.

Murray declared at no point did he fear he would miss the second game, where the Blues are fighting to level the series in front of a hostile Queensland crowd.

“Not really,” he said.

“I’m really grateful for (Fittler) trusting me to go through my rehab earlier on in the camp and then get myself right now.

“I jumped on the back of the feedback from a lot of the physios and they said there’s a good possibility you’ll be able to play so I just made sure I did everything I could.

“It’s paid off and I’m ready to go.

“I’m really happy with the way training went on Sunday.”

Murray began Blues camp completing separate rehabilitation sessions with Latrell Mitchell and Liam Martin, who both entered preparations under injury clouds of their own.

Mitchell has since failed to recover from his calf injury and will be replaced in the centres by Stephen Crichton, while Martin was in some doubt with a head knock.

Murray did not believe missing time at training would put himself or Martin at a disadvantage.

“It didn’t feel like I missed much,” he said.

“I just did my best to connect as much as I could while I was doing my rehab stuff. 

“We made sure that we got around the boys as much as possible and we were in the huddles when there was some feedback getting thrown around.

“We made sure we were pretty close to the scrimmage and all the little drills that they were doing.”

The Blues’ best player in Game I, Penrith forward Martin is often derided as a “pest” by teammates and rivals alike.

But Murray claimed to have dodged the dual premiership winner’s antics during their time in rehab together.

“I think he’s a selective pest,” Murray said.

“I think he only pesters select people, he’s pretty good to me.”