Alex McKinnon joins the Blues after Origin

Last updated 07:06 19/06/2014
Alex McKinnon
MATT KING/ Getty
CELEBRATIONS: Injured Newcastle Knights forward Alex McKinnon joined the NSW players after their Origin win.

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The most inspirational moment of NSW's drought-breaking State of Origin victory came in the sheds post-match, when Alex McKinnon joined the Blues' for their celebrations.

Ending Queensland's eight-year reign was no small task, but the presence of McKinnon in the ANZ Stadium home dressing rooms, put everything in perspective.

After the devastating spinal injury he suffered back in round three, McKinnon is continuing his recovery, fighting to be able to walk again.

Before the tragic accident occurred, the tough and versatile Newcastle forward was someone in the minds of NSW selectors as a future Origin player.

NSW had said they'd received a boost simply knowing McKinnon was attending the match, but as the emotion of their historic victory bubbled over in the sheds on Wednesday night, the 22-year-old was right alongside them in the inner sanctum to enjoy it all.

It was a special moment for all parties.

"It was great to see him here and he might be a bit of a lucky charm for us," said McKinnon's Knights teammate Beau Scott.

"I've been in contact with Alex over the last couple of days and I knew he was on his way in.

"I caught up with him before the game and he was in the sheds after to enjoy the moment with us.

"He didn't have anything to say - just to be here and have his presence and support was great.

"Obviously to go through the journey he's gone through - he's a very exceptional young man to be able to keep the level head he has.

"He's come a long way but he's got a long way to go too, so all the support we can give him in his journey in the future, we will."

McKinnon watched the game with his partner Teigan Power from the Channel Nine commentary box.

NSW great Tommy Raudonikis, who revealed on Wednesday he has been diagnosed with throat cancer, said he was inspired by a conversation he had with McKinnon.

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- AAP

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