Origin Training Tuesday
Origin Training Tuesday

Maloney has three hours to bring Maroons down

James Maloney has three training sessions to try and engineer Queensland's downfall, with the veteran five-eighth taking almost total control ahead of Origin II.

"So you want a block run?,'' Trbojevic asks.

"Okay, got it Jimmy.''

It's pulling NSW rookies Dale Finucane and Jack Wighton in for a one-on-one chat.

And it's barking the next set-play to Damien Cook, or hitting Josh Addo-Carr with a cut-out pass.

"Yes, that's the one Jimmy lad,'' Addo-Carr hollers.

Welcome inside 'Camp Jimmy" - a place where NSW five-eighth James Maloney has roughly three hours to stamp his winning imprint on the Blues.

Without a minute to waste ahead of Sunday's Origin II clash with Queensland, Maloney and the Blues will formally commence their Origin series recovery mission at noon Wednesday.

They will then have just Friday and Saturday to perfect their game plan. It's about 170 minutes to instil confidence and trust across the squad.

Enter 'Coach' Maloney.

Running largely at half-pace before Wednesday's first full-blown ballwork session, the Blues took to the world-class rugby field of a Scarborough boarding school.

What the almost 100 students in blazers and ties from Hale School saw was the two-time premiership winner and last year's NSW Origin series winner running the entire show.

Overlooked for Origin I for Cody Walker, Maloney teased the Blues afterwards by claiming that after 12 previous appearances for his state, "they know what I can bring."

On Tuesday, we saw why former Penrith coach Anthony Griffin once rated Maloney as equal to Darren Lockyer as the smartest player he's coached.

"With his experience - especially his big-game experience, he knows what it takes,'' NSW forward Wade Graham said.

"He's shown that in the past, whether it be Origin, Test football, grand finals, he knows what it takes.

"One thing is, he's loud and he's clear. He's a good organiser, you know exactly what jimmy wants when you're on the field.

Maloney has been thrust back into the limelight. Picture by Brett Costello.
Maloney has been thrust back into the limelight. Picture by Brett Costello.

"I'm stoked to be back, teamed up with him.''

Told by The Telegraph he appeared to be not just a player but an on-field coach, Maloney replied: "I've got no misconceptions about my role here.

"As a senior player, there's a lot of blokes who are still young and new in this arena that a bit of leadership becomes a big part in what I've got to do.

"It's a role I did last year and hopefully I do that here.''

It's expected that Maloney and NSW Origin halfback Nathan Cleary will run this morning's video session before the Blues hit the training field.

"Last year that was a fairly big thing, Freddy wanted us driving it. Telling the boys where they need to be, what we're going to do,'' Maloney said.

"A lot of it is not dissimilar to last year. I've fallen straight back into it.''

NSW assistant coach Danny Buderus said Maloney's return to Origin gave the Blues a ready-made formula for success.

When Maloney speaks, players listen. AAP Image/Richard Wainwright.
When Maloney speaks, players listen. AAP Image/Richard Wainwright.

"He said 'they know what I can bring' and I just love that mindset of his,'' NSW assistant coach Danny Buderus said.

"When Jimmy talks, everyone notices and with that talk, Jimmy takes the pressure off Nathan, which allows Nathan to play his game.''

Maloney's willingness to take on pressure where few would is also why, now that he's back in blue, the 33-year-old carries extra motivation to ensure Sunday night isn't his last appearance for NSW.

"At some point there's always going to be your last one,'' Maloney said.

"I hope this isn't because I hope we'll win it on Sunday and that would make me have one more at least.

"I don't really think about stuff like that, I pretty focused on what we need to do on Sunday and if we get it right, it most likely won't be my last.''