The days of the NSW skipper as public enemy No.
1 in Queensland appear numbered.
The thought may have seemed inconceivable with 16-time captain Paul Gallen at the Blues helm.
Especially after his now infamous “two heads” jibe at Maroons fans.
But new Blues skipper Boyd Cordner won’t be infuriating anyone north of the Tweed River any time soon, judging by rare praise from the Maroons.
Cordner’s predecessor Gallen gleefully revelled in the role of Origin villain in Queensland.
He quickly became the man Maroons fans loved to hate, ruffling most feathers when he described them as “two heads” in 2014.
However, Cordner may yet get cheers not jeers from the Suncorp Stadium crowd at Origin I next Wednesday night judging by the Queensland team’s reaction to his looming debut as NSW captain.
“He’s actually a very likeable guy,” Queensland and Test skipper Cameron Smith said.
“I’ve only got good things to say about Boyd. He’s a very impressive player and person as well.
“I can only applaud him being given the captaincy of the Blues – I’m sure he’ll do a great job.”
Sydney Roosters backrower Cordner, 24, became the youngest Blues skipper in 21 years when he was handed the reigns for 2017.
He held out the likes of Wests Tigers captain Aaron Woods and Canterbury back-rower Josh Jackson in order to take over from veteran prop Gallen.
“It’s probably the best decision NSW could have made, not that I worry too much about their decisions,” Queensland prop Dylan Napa said of Roosters teammate Cordner.
“I wish him, well, not too much luck. He’s a great leader and an even better bloke. He’s probably my best mate at the Roosters.”