Gallen focused on the State of Origin opening game

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Paul Gallen - New South WalesNew South Wales skipper Paul Gallen has revealed his desperation to play in State of Origin Game I (Match & Handicap betting) this Wednesday was not personally motivated, but rather a desire to ensure his team was in the best shape possible to beat Queensland.

Gallen today declared himself a certain starter  for NSW (+8 Match Handicap) after his strained thigh muscle showed no ill-effects from Sunday's opposed training session - his first run since last Tuesday. He admitted to the frustration and embarrassment the injury - and the preceding knee injury he came into camp with - had caused, but he insists the concerns he carried were very-much team orientated.

The Cronulla prop said "The whole time I wasn't really concerned about myself, it wasn't really about me or about me playing. I'm more concerned about this team. If I didn't play this game and we won I wouldn't care - all I want is for this team to win this game and this series."

There's little doubt NSW's chances of beating Queensland (-8 Match Handicap) would be significantly higher with Gallen in the side as they look to end a series losing run going back to 2005, but that wouldn't mean the tough second rower would take any risks by playing.

Gallen, who featured in all 3 State of Origin games in 2011, added "Thinking that if I went out there and couldn't perform, and let people down, that's something that I'd be pretty upset with. I find it hard to hide the way I'm feeling ... I was walking around with the blues - it (the injury) was just annoying me and just really frustrating for me. Fortunately I got through the session fine yesterday, my head's in a lot better place today."

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