Luke Lewis is ready for State of Origin battle
Luke Lewis says the battering his body copped from the Wests Tigers has served as the ideal preparation for State of Origin, should NSW show faith in the war horse back-rower.
Lewis suffered a horrific shoulder injury during last year's World Cup, when he slid into a metal pole attached to signage behind the dead-ball line.
Saturday night was just his second game back in 2014 following the toughest rehabilitation period of his career, but the 30-year-old veteran of 14 Origins said he was ready to rumble against Queensland.
Rather than trying to ease his shoulder back into contact, Lewis was determined to get himself beaten around against the Tigers.
Copping some nasty knocks, but surviving the match unscathed has given Lewis the mental and physical confidence he can do a job for Laurie Daley's injury and suspension-affected forward pack in the Suncorp Stadium opener on Wednesday week.
''My main focus the first two weeks has just been to get a lot of knocks in my shoulders and put my body in awkward positions which you can't get at training,'' Lewis said.
''I think I've done that so mentally I'm getting there. I've got through two games and now it's about getting the timing really.
''By the next week I should have most of my timing back with another week of training under my belt.
''If I get the (Origin) opportunity I'll be 100 per cent right.''
Lewis isn't getting ahead of himself regarding Tuesday's Blues' selection announcement, accepting of the fact he hasn't played much footy and Daley does have plenty of back-row talent to call on.
But at the same time, Lewis hopes his proven ability to stand up at Origin level counts for something, particularly with another versatile regular Greg Bird suspended.
''Yeah absolutely. If I get the opportunity it's something you can't explain, the Blue jersey always brings something out in you,'' he said.
''It's just that Origin mentality and that feeling of playing Origin. But I won't rely on that. I think there's a lot of great players who deserve an opportunity.
''If I get the opportunity I'll leave no stone unturned at training.''