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State of Origin 
- Game 2 
- Training Session at Sanctuary Cove 
- 16 June 2016 
- Gold Coast, Qld. 
- Scott Davis

XXXX Queensland forward Jacob Lillyman says the disappointment of being overlooked for Game I of this year's Origin series has spurred him to work harder and earn his selection for Game II. 

Lillyman will start on the bench for the Maroons, with a leg injury to veteran prop Nate Myles opening the door for the 32-year-old's return. 

The New Zealand Warriors workhorse played every game of the 2015 Holden State of Origin Series and was a clear standout in Queensland's 52-6 win in Game III.

'It was my best Origin game'

Although the 2015 Origin series was a career highlight, Lillyman knows it is now time to focus on the present and help the Maroons clinch this year's series at Suncorp Stadium on June 22.  

"Not being picked in Game I was disappointing, but I got on with it and that's what you have to do," Lillyman said. 

"Game III of last year was a long time ago now. 

"Obviously it was a great game to be a part of and it was my best Origin game, but that's a whole world away at the moment and there's another one coming up that I'm looking forward to."

Impact weapon, fired off the bench

Brisbane prop Josh McGuire will start in place of Myles, with Lillyman looking to make an immediate impact off Queensland's bench. 

He will need to muscle up, with NSW again selecting a side that features a distinct size advantage over the Maroons.  

"They are a monstrous pack. They are really big boys, especially on their bench," he said. 

"It's a massive challenge and I need to back up what the boys did in Game I. 

"Hopefully the conditions are better on Wednesday night, but it'll be a huge challenge containing their big men nonetheless."

Braced for Blue bashing

Queensland are expecting the Blues' pack to come straight up the middle in a bid to try to bash the Maroons out of the game. 

Pundits can expect Queensland to counter by taking advantage of a dry Suncorp in a bid to exploit the Blues' big men on the edge of the ruck.

Lillyman hopes this tactic will help the Maroons run NSW out of the game, much like they did in Game III last year. 

"They've got so much size and it's not a secret that in these Origin games they come through the middle," he said. 

"We do have a very mobile pack. We have some guys that have really good footwork and can play on the edge of the ruck. 

"We'll have to play to our strengths and play an up-tempo style of football. 

"Playing fast rugby league is definitely up the top of the list for us come Wednesday night."  

Too frantic to fret

Lillyman is expecting the Blues big men to come after him, but he says the speed of Origin will mean he doesn't have time to think about being a target for NSW. 

"They might come after me early, but Origin games are too quick to even be worrying about that sort of thing. I just need to be ready for anything that comes my way," he said.

This article first appeared on

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