‘He was devastated’: Dylan Edwards moves on from ‘rollercoaster’ couple of weeks to prepare to realise his childhood dream

Dylan Edwards has described the past few weeks as a “rollercoaster” of emotions after he rode the highs of being picked to make his State of Origin debut, only to suffer a quad strain that crushed those dreams days out from game one.

The Panthers fullback’s form was simply too good to ignore for the series opener, with Edwards beating out James Tedesco for the job, only for the Blues skipper to be rushed back in on short notice.

Edwards was sensationally named on an extended bench for Penrith’s next game after Origin, and while he was “touch and go”, he knew the risks were too high and could jeopardise his availability for game two in Melbourne.

“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. I was incredibly disappointed initially when I got injured, but that’s the nature of the beast with the highs and lows,” he said after earning another shot.

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“After I got over that, I tried to help the boys as much as possible, and then I had some boxes I needed to tick to get back.

“The medical staff was really good through the process to get the body right, and then I got the call from ‘Madge’ (NSW coach Michael Maguire) which was awesome.”

Some rookies would have tried to hide the injury in a bid to play, but Edwards knew he was no chance after going down at the end of a session that won’t affect how he attacks training this week.

“I’ll treat it like I normally would,” he said.

“My body feels good. It was just a freak thing doing normal shape that we’ve run heaps, but I didn’t pull up really well.

“There was no chance to play because it got taken out of my hands. We did our due diligence and got a scan, and it showed something there.

“The nature of the injury impacted my high-speed running, and that’s something I have to do a bit of at the back.”

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Dylan Edwards stayed in camp even though he knew he wouldn’t play. Jonathan Ng Credit: News Corp Australia

Edwards rarely gives anything away, but close friend Liam Martin knew just how tough the injury was for him to take given all the hard work he’s put in for Penrith.

“He obviously went through that pretty tough period in the first game, but he’s come in and he’s really positive and really excited,” the back-rower said.

“My partner and I saw him and his partner out at brekky and you could tell that he was devastated. He doesn’t show much, but he was a bit emotional when he first heard the news, but then he got over it. He hides it pretty well.”

Edwards’ decision to stay in camp and help out the team hasn’t been lost on the players, with Isaah Yeo impressed with how he handled the disappointment.

“He showed why he’s such a good teammate. He was on such a high because he was going to live out a childhood dream, and all of a sudden it got snatched away from him with an injury,” he said.

“I think most people would’ve wanted to go home and hide in their room, but he stayed in camp and helped where he could like the ultimate team man that he is.

“That’s exactly what Madge is trying to build by putting the team and the state first, and he certainly did that.”

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