National News

Multicultural Blues in foreign territory

The NSW Blues aren't surprised they won't enjoy the bulk of support in Perth for State of Origin's debut in Western Australia.

But as far as global reach is concerned, they believe they cover more territory than bitter rivals Queensland.

A week-long poll by a local newspaper has shown that 60 per cent of the nearly 3000 respondents are backing the Maroons for the historic occasion.

So while they may not be walking into the cauldron that is Suncorp Stadium, the Blues aren't expecting a warm welcome at a sold out Optus Stadium on Sunday.

"I guess Queensland have been dominant for so long and when that happens, usually people jump on the back of it," NSW forward Tyson Frizell told AAP.

"I'm sure if we won a couple of series on the trot, that'd flip around.

"We need to get people to believe and wanting to support us and we need to do that by winning games and winning series. We've come to Perth to do that."

Perth will be just the second neutral city to host an Origin game in the rivalry's storied history, following on from the game's push into Melbourne.

And the southern state mostly rallied behind Queensland given the number of NRL players from the Melbourne Storm, including champion hooker Cameron Smith.

Blues lock Jake Trbojevic said the disparity simply made for a better atmosphere.

"Even Brisbane - as much as everyone's against you, it's such a great atmosphere. That's just the way it is," he said.

"It'll be similar here. What does it hold, 60,000? That's enormous and exciting."

While the Blues struggle to wrestle support outside of the harbour city, they remain proud of their multicultural make-up of their team.

Almost half of their 17-man squad have backgrounds from countries other than Australia, with five of the line-up having represented another nation.

"When you're coming through, you obviously want to play the highest level of football whether it be Australia or NSW," prop Paul Vaughan said.

"But if you can't get there when you're a young fella and if you got a secondary nationality there, it's always good to come up through there.

"I played two World Cups for Italy. It was a pleasure playing for them and my family's really proud of me doing that."

Frizell said their experiences with minnow nations prepared them for Origin.

"That's where a lot of players get their start and eventually these boys jump the plane for NSW," he said.

"This is the pinnacle of where we want to get to in terms of physicality and the raw emotion and everything behind it."

BLUES OF MULTICULTURAL ORIGIN

Italy - James Tedesco, Paul Vaughan

Serbia - Tom Trbojevic, Jake Trbojevic

Fiji - Daniel Saifiti, Tariq Sims

Wales - Tyson Frizell

© AAP 2019