Blues greats stoked by Paps' Origin admission

Gun Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen has won praise from greats for continuing to express a desire to play State of Origin despite a horror run of injuries.

Papenhuyzen returned from an ankle injury in the Storm's 30-24 win over the Dolphins in Brisbane on Friday night.

He scored a try and made a crucial try-saving tackle on Jamayne Isaako in the last minute that with a successful conversion would've seen the Dolphins level the score.

The latest ankle injury forced him to miss six weeks of footy. Unrelated knee and ankle injuries meant he missed the second half of the 2022 season, and then much of the 2023 season.

But speaking on Nine's post-game coverage on Friday night, Papenhuyzen said Melbourne was "buzzing" ahead of Origin II next Wednesday, then suggested he still had hopes of pulling on a Blues jumper.

blues greats stoked by paps' origin admission

Ryan Papenhuyzen during the Storm's clash against the Dolphins in Brisbane.

"Melbourne loves sport and Origin is no different – If no-one knows rugby league down there, they know what Origin is," he said.

"I'm sure it will be packed out. It's one of those games you want to be part of.

"Unfortunately (for me), not this year. Hopefully I can get a game down there soon, and I get to play in front of the Melbourne fans at the MCG.

"That'd be nice."

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

Blues great Paul Gallen said that Papenhuyzen still has his eyes on rep footy at all was a testimony to his resilience.

Gallen suggested had he not suffered a "little fracture" against the Titans in round nine, he might've been in the conversation for Origin selection.

"His resilience is top-notch. First class. He never gives up," Gallen said on Nine.

"What I loved about that interview, he said 'hopefully I'm out there one day'. He still has ambition to play for NSW. The way he started this year, he probably wouldn't have been out of place.

"Unfortunately, injury has taken a toll and he has missed a fair bit of footy.

"He is one of the stars of the game, he has the kids talking about him, he is a great player and great guy.

"Hopefully he can stay fit and healthy and get consistent footy under his belt.

"I'm sure that's what the Storm want, too."

The Storm will take on the Raiders in Melbourne next weekend.

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