'Of course': Crichton ready for next step with Blues

Stephen Crichton has helped transform the Bulldogs into a finals contender this year and the superstar centre already has his eye on another leadership role.

In his first year at Belmore, the 23-year-old has taken over the captaincy with ease and lifted the standards at the club, pushing them into the NRL top-eight.

Crichton is one of the game's most respected players and it was no surprise to see him selected for the NSW Blues for the first two games of this year's State of Origin series.

But his role in the side could potentially expand in the coming years and Crichton admits captaining his state is something he would be more than open to.

'of course': crichton ready for next step with blues

Stephen Crichton during NSW Blues camp.

"Of course, that's something very special and very big as well for myself … if the time is right [I would do it]," he told 9News Sydney.

Crichton was a rare shining light for the Blues in the series opener, finishing with 130 run metres and three tackle breaks as the Maroons record a 38-10 victory in Sydney.

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

Despite the result, Crichton has remained upbeat in camp ahead of game two and has taken notes from former skipper James Tedesco when it comes to his preparation.

"It always hurts losing, especially in this arena," he said.

"We took a lot of confidence out of game one, obviously going down to 12 and the boys kept fighting until the end. There's a lot of positive signs there.

"I always spoke to Teddy about how he approached games and just watching the way that he preps is very motivating - it definitely helped myself.

"I've got a little journal that I do every morning and then my game day journal as well, with a few goals and who I'm going up against."

Crichton will move to the right side of the field in Melbourne on Wednesday night, accommodating the return of Latrell Mitchell at left centre.

The polarising Rabbitohs superstar was one of five changes made by coach Michael Maguire, with club teammate Cameron Murray also earning a recall to the NSW lineup.

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