In-form Parramatta forward Reagan Campbell-Gillard has revealed he will have to give serious thought before accepting or rejecting a State of Origin call-up for NSW.
The towering prop is almost a certainty of getting asked by Blues coach Brad Fittler to join the squad for the interstate series in November.
He played his sole Origin game in 2018 but his form for the Eels this season certainly warrants selection, alongside his front row partner Junior Paulo.
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But the 27-year-old told Nine News on Thursday he is tempted to turn down any offer to extend his season after Parramatta wraps up its campaign.
NRL players have been in a “bubble” since the season resumed and any player picked in an Origin squad would need to enter another bubble for a further five weeks.
“To be honest, I really don’t like the bubble,” Campbell-Gillard said.
“I’m hoping things can change for us moving forward.
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“Not only myself but pretty much every team and every player could vouch for how the bubble is probably affecting them away from football.
“If I get picked in it, I will have to deal with that.”
Campbell-Gillard revealed he is considering rejecting Fittler’s offer to represent his state against Queensland.
“I don’t know… I’d say yes, but again I’ve got to get a few things done in the off-season as well.
“I’ve got to get my nose fixed. I can’t breathe at the moment.”
NRL 360 host Paul Kent revealed this week NRL contracted players are required to make themselves available for representative football unless they have a legitimate excuse.
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That means even if Campbell-Gillard didn’t want to enter the NSW bubble, he may be compelled to.
Fittler has already named six players in his preliminary squad and Newcastle prop David Klemmer was a shock omission.
That means Campbell-Gillard, Paulo, and James Tamou are strong chances to get called up to the team.
Fittler, meantime, has further explained his shock decision to leave Klemmer out of the squad.
The Knights prop has played 14 games for NSW and was the 2018 Brad Fittler Medal winner for their best player.
“Newcastle were a victim, a bit like Cronulla,” Fittler said.
“Their season faded. Halfway through the year, they looked like they would finish in the top-four.
“Then all of a sudden, their season just failed.
“You’ve got to look to their best players and they’re the ones you’ve got to ask why? You’ve got to ask (Mitchell) Pearce, Kalyn (Ponga), Klemmer and (Daniel) Saifiti.
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“They’re the ones who are in control of the season whether it keeps going forward or starts tilting downwards. I think he acknowledges as well.
“Straight after the game he’s emotional. I understand that.
“You want that in your players, for it to matter.”