League: Blues' greatest foe becomes a friend

Former Maroons coach Mal Meninga and Blues coach Laurie Daley. Photo / Getty
Former Maroons coach Mal Meninga and Blues coach Laurie Daley. Photo / Getty

Paul Gallen didn't know whether to call security or stick his hand out.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw him just then too be honest," Gallen said.

"It's a bit weird because he's been at the forefront for them (Queensland) for so long.

"At this time of year they're the enemy, so it's a bit different."

Mal Meninga, the man responsible for shattering the NSW captain's heart over the past decade, would've been accosted 12 months ago.

However, after handing over the reigns at the end of last year's 2-1 series win to Queensland coach Kevin Walters, Meninga was invited by NSW coach Laurie Daley to the Blues' all-important final training run at ANZ Stadium, promising his eyes were no longer coloured maroon.

"I'm the Australian coach, that's what brings me here today," Meninga said.

"When it comes to Origin, these games matter from my perspective because I want to pick the best team for Australia.

"Showing my face here, it's part of my role. It's part of what I do now.

"It's nice to be invited by Laurie and the team to come again, so that's why I'm here.

"I sit on the fence now. Obviously I'm a Queenslander and I've been involved in Queensland for a number of years, but at the end of the day, I love rugby league."

- news.com.au

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