WHEN Josh Morris signed with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks prior to the 2019 NRL season, he thought that would be the only sky blue jersey he would wear in 2019.
But on Monday morning when the NSW Blues took their team photo, he pulled on a second sky blue jersey. A sky blue jersey he had grown intimately familiar with in previous years, but one he didn't expect to wear again after he walked away from State of Origin in 2016.
His selection comes after a handful of NSW contenders fell away in recent weeks, with James Roberts dropped to reserve grade in Brisbane, Jack Bird rupturing his ACL and Joey Leilua injuring his neck, but Morris is confident he is ready to step up for his state, as he has done so many times in the past.
"Whether I play one or three games, I've got to look at it as it's probably going to be my last one," Morris said.
"The past two years because I haven't really concentrated on Origin, I've probably played my most consistent footy. I haven't put the pressure on myself to make these sides.
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"That's really helped my footy and I feel like this year I've played really well. I'm confident that I can still go out there and match it."
The Kiama Knights product credits the support of his teammates in the sky blue jersey of Cronulla for helping him return to the Origin arena.
He concedes it was a tough decision to leave the Bulldogs at the end of the 2018 season, but the love for Morris in Cronulla was clear on Sunday night in the dressing rooms of WIN Stadium after the Sharks victory over the Dragons when it was revealed NSW coach Brad Fittler had selected Morris to represent the Blues.
"It's been a good change for me, something at the time I was reluctant to do, I had been at the Dogs for 10 years so it was pretty hard to leave.
"But everything happens for a reason, I live in Cronulla, so I'm close to training, get to spend a bit more time with my family and have been able to play some good football.
"The boys have really embraced me, when I found out on Sunday and the boys found out, it was pretty special scenes in the change-rooms, they were all really happy for me and I couldn't have done it without them."
Morris has countless positive Origin memories, perhaps none bigger than his desperate tackle on Greg Inglis in the 2014 opener after rupturing his PCL just moments earlier.
On that occasion he was partnered with twin Brett Morris in a familiar pairing for the brothers.
This time around, Josh will line up alongside debutante Nick Cotric in a new-look right-side combination.
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Unlike the Morris brothers, who have known each other since birth, Josh Morris and Nick Cotric first met each other when the Blues assembled in camp on Sunday night.
They will have plenty of opportunities to get to know each other throughout the next week, however, with the pair rooming together and Morris is looking forward to imparting a few pearls of wisdom on the 20-year-old Raiders winger.
"The first time I met Nick was Sunday night, I had a little chat to him in the room, he's really excited and I'm really excited for him as well," he said.
"For me it's about trying to help him and pass on my experience and knowledge and make sure that he really enjoys the week because it's a special time, your first Origin."