Classic reply when Madge told Trbojevic he was captain

Blues coach Michael Maguire has compared Jake Trbojevic's passion for State of Origin to that of Steve 'Turvey' Mortimer.

And for that reason, Maguire said, giving Trbojevic the Blues captaincy was an easy decision.

Mortimer represented NSW 16 times - nine times under the State of Origin banner. He was skipper when the Blues claimed the first series win in 1985.

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"I go back in history, you look at someone like a Turvey, when you're in this space, the passion of what those sorts of people bring, Jakey represents a lot of that," Maguire told media on Monday morning.

classic reply when madge told trbojevic he was captain

Manly forward Jake Trbojevic.

Maguire said Trbojevic rallies behind his teammates, which in turn helps them rally behind him and each other.

"I see that's a big part of leadership at this level."

Trbojevic was given the captaincy after Maguire made the "tough" call to axe incumbent James Tedesco, and name Dylan Edwards at fullback.

But Trbojevic's reaction to being given the captaincy suggested the honour came as somewhat of a surprise.

"I think he held his breath a bit and went, 'Oh, oh, really?'," Maguire said.

"But then you could just see the passion come out of him right there and then, which was exactly the reason why I wanted to go this way. He was that excited."

Together, Trbojevic and Sea Eagles teammate and Queensland skipper Daly Cherry-Evans represent the first opposing Origin captains to be picked from the same club side since Roosters teammates Brad Fittler and Adrian Lam in 2000.

Maguire said he felt Trbojevic represented the people of New South Wales better than most.

Watch the 2024 State of Origin series exclusively live and free on Nine and 9Now.

"We're very fortunate we're from a big state ... there are people out in the country, good times, tough times," Maguire explained.

"Jakey to me represents a lot of that by the way he talks and the passion he has towards what the jersey means.

"I've watched Jakey for a long period of time, and he wears his heart on his sleeve and I think that resonates with the people of NSW.

"That made the decision for me pretty easy.

"He'll probably show emotion at times, and he's a character, (but) I want that in my captain to show people what this jersey really means."

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