Clive Churchill Medallist Ryan Papenhuyzen’s insane play in the NRL grand final had fans absolutely stunned, but it has ultimately cost him a debut in the first game of State of Origin.
The Storm fullback was ruled out of the State of Origin opener with a calf injury while Coen Hess has been recalled and eight debutants named in Wayne Bennett's Queensland.
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Clive Churchill Medallist Papenhuyzen was next in line to replace star New South Wales fullback James Tedesco should he fail to pass Saturday's fitness test on his injured knee.
He was also looking at a spot on the bench due to his incredible form and x-factor.
But the 22-year-old revealed he suffered a calf injury when he made the absurd leap out of bounds to knock the ball back into play from Nathan Cleary’s touch finder with just 13 minutes left of play in the NRL grand final.
“It was when I jumped out to hit that ball back in because I remember everything after that hurt and it didn’t feel right… I remember running not long after and thinking ‘this isn’t normal’,” Papenhuyzen said on Thursday.
“I always think I’m a chance so I just threw myself at it and luckily enough it bounced just on its side, I reckon if it bounced a bit different it probably would have been out.
“If someone’s kicking for touch you’ll always see me look and then let go and see if I can make it or not. It probably helped that I was a little bit out of position to be honest because I sort of was running that way and picked up momentum and knocked it back in.”
Papenhuyzen aiming for quick return
The Storm fullback said he doesn’t regret making the play, which could have made the difference in the final.
“It’s disappointing but it is what it is. If I don’t do that, do we win a grand final? I just think of it like that,” he added.
“Everything happens for a reason, it’s probably my body telling me I need a little bit of a rest.”
Despite the injury, Papenhuyzen is looking to be ready for Game 2 in Sydney if called upon.
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