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Lewis wants more Blues in Test side

Saturday, July 05, 2014

COFFS HARBOUR, NSW - Luke Lewis has challenged his NSW State of Origin teammates to make it impossible for Test coach Tim Sheens to overlook them for selection for this year's Four Nations tournament.

Lewis has been one of the few Blues' players to be an automatic selection for the Kangaroos under Sheens, with Queensland representatives usually dominating the make-up of the 17-man team.

The Cronulla utility missed the last Test against New Zealand due to a shoulder injury suffered on Rugby League World Cup duty.

But 11 of the side were from north of the Tweed and Lewis believes there's no reason why there can't be a changing of the guard if NSW win Origin III to seal a 3-0 series whitewash.

"I think Timmy Sheens will be looking at the game pretty closely and you can't take anything away from the Queensland boys that have been there and done it," Lewis told AAP.

"But I definitely like to see a couple more guys from the Blues' side in the Australian team."

Daniel Tupou, Trent Merrin and Aaron Woods are all under 25 and have enjoyed strong Origin series and the likes of Boyd Cordner (22), James Tamou (25) and Jarryd Hayne (26) are already regular members of the Kangaroos' set-up.

Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson have also been impressive for the Blues and Lewis believes there is no reason why they cannot be viewed as long-term replacements for Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston when they hang up their boots.

"There are a lot of young blokes around and it's probably going to change soon," 30-year-old Lewis said.

"There is a core group of us all around the same age and we've probably only got one or two years of our best footy left in us.

"All of sudden, you have a lot of young blokes who've come on through and they are winning Origins ... I think things are only going to get better."

At the start of the year, Lewis was the only member of the NSW side to have experienced an Origin series win and he admits he never thought he'd wait another decade to taste success again.

Lewis was a raw 20-year-old winger when Phil Gould's Blues beat Queensland 36-14 to triumph 2-1 in 2004 and he admits he didn't appreciate the enormity of it until winning Game II this year.

"I think now I can enjoy it more because I realise what it takes to win an Origin series," he said.

"After we won, I just thought it would happen all the time and probably say I took it for granted.

"So to be part of this side that has gone so close so many times and then finally get over the line is pretty special."

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