HE'D received the momentous phone call twice in his career from Brad Fittler, but Gerringong's Tariq Sims admits he wasn't expecting to hear from the Blues coach over the weekend.
But when the call came through on Sunday, the Group Seven product was pleasantly surprised.
"I wasn't expecting the call from Freddy at all," Sims said to NRL.com.
"My daughter actually had my phone at the time and it had died while she was using it.
"She hadn't told me it was dead, as kids do, and it wasn't until about 8.30am I'd realised my phone had been off.
"So I threw it on charge and at about 9am, I checked it again and I had a couple of missed calls and messages - before word started to filter through with the good news.
"It was one of those moments where you pinch yourself."
As happy as he was to get be selected, the Kiama High School alumnus admits he thought the Dragons' form slump and his recent suspension might work against him.
"To play Origin, you need to be disciplined and unfortunately, I sat out through suspension two weeks ago," the 31-year-old said.
"Then after a heavy loss to the Tigers last round, I didn't know if I'd done enough to warrant selection in the side.
"Regardless of that, I'm very thankful for the opportunity and I know what lies ahead of me the coming week or so - I'm excited about the challenge."
In terms of role, the June 9 fixture will mark Sims' first in the run-on side, after starting both previous Origins on the bench.
As such, coach Fittler has a specific role for the 194-game NRL veteran.
"The back-row is my preferred position and in my past few games with the Blues, it's been off the bench and in the middle of the park," he said.
"As much as I loved that, I'm really looking forward to having a crack on the edge.
"This time around, Freddy has given me, just like every other player in the squad, a job and I'm here to do it to the best of my ability.
"That job is to make the ball-players get the footy out of their hands early, by putting legal pressure on them.
"It's no easy task, as they've got some of the best playmakers in the game, but I'm ready to give it a go.
"Freddy also wants me to protect my half too, which is not too different to the way I like to play anyway."
As zeroed in as he is on the clash at Townsville, Sims isn't taking this chance for granted, as he wants to help the Blues regain the series trophy.
"This is definitely the pinnacle of my playing career and one of the proudest moments I've ever had," he said.
"But I know, if I make a mistake, I could be out the door.
"Everything I do needs to be calculated, done the right way and done in a way that's beneficial to the team because Origin is such a team sport and you can't do things one-out.
"If we do that, we definitely have the squad that can get the job done, not just next Wednesday but in the series."
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