Maroons late bloomer Kyle Feldt has detailed the phone call from coach Paul Green that has given him belief that his State of Origin redemption is at hand.
The Queensland winger had an Origin baptism of fire in his home town of Townsville in Game One in a 50-6 thrashing but said the call from Green ahead of Sunday night’s showdown at Suncorp Stadium had him better placed to rediscover his best and put to bed any lingering demons.
Feldt, 29, had played 144 NRL games before getting the Maroons call-up that he had coveted.
“The Origin experience was good … apart from the game,” Feldt said.
“My name was being thrown around a lot of the time and I had been in the Maroons squads for so many years.
“When Greeny rang me before Game One it was kind of the same feeling because he said I was going to be the 18th man and I didn’t know if I was going to play.
“It wasn’t until the Tuesday in camp that I knew I was going to play, which was a bit surreal, but the phone call on Sunday was different.
“Greeny said I was in the team and starting and that was a lot easier to take. I don’t look at it as a second chance. I just have to get more involved.”
It was an unhappy night for the Maroons backline in Townsville, including Feldt, who was penalised early for a late shot on Josh Addo-Carr.
“Our outside backs didn’t get much of a go or see much ball. This week we have to match their back five. We will be up for it,” Feldt said.
“There was a mishap with Josh Addo-Carr (in Game One), which gave them an opportunity that they capitalised on but apart from that I thought I was alright.”
Feldt said he and Cowboys clubmate Valentine Holmes, who has been retained at fullback in the wake of the training injury to Reece Walsh, had made a pact to give the Maroons more punch from the back-field.
“Val is our fullback at the Cowboys and we always do extra training at the back end of sessions to get our combinations right. When he takes a carry I have to come on the back of it and take one, and vice-versa,” Feldt said.