Bradman Best has been selected to make his debut for the New South Wales (NSW) Blues, fulfilling a childhood dream of representing his state. The 21-year-old has experienced the disappointment of watching the Queensland Maroons win the State of Origin series for eight consecutive years. As a result, Best holds the 2014 Blues victory as his favorite Origin moment and harbors a strong dislike for anyone supporting the Maroons. Best’s passion for NSW is evident in his own words, declaring, “I hate them… I hated Queensland and I still do.”
The young Knights center already has memorable experiences representing his state. In 2017, while playing for the NSW under-16s side at Suncorp Stadium, Best played a vital role in securing a victory over Queensland.
With the scores locked at 16-all and less than two minutes remaining, Albert Hopoate passed the ball to Best, who dashed ahead, scoring the match-winning try. This significant moment occurred under the coaching of Brad Fittler, who now has the honor of giving Best his debut for the Blues exactly six years after that famous try.
Best expresses how special it is for him to have Fittler as his coach for this State of Origin game. He reminisces about his time playing under Fittler’s guidance during his junior years and emphasises that representing NSW is the pinnacle of rugby league. Scoring that winning try at Suncorp Stadium in enemy territory was an incomparable feeling, and Best fondly recalls the camaraderie among his teammates during the momentous victory.
Among the seven new faces in the NSW squad, Best stands out as a fresh talent. His inclusion comes after the Blues’ series loss in Brisbane and the unfortunate injury to Tom Trbojevic. Best’s recent performance, including three tries in Newcastle’s domination over the Bulldogs, caught the attention of coach Fittler. However, Best was never entirely off his radar, as Fittler has been coaching him since he was 16 and always believed he had the potential to become a State of Origin player.
For Best, this opportunity is a realisation of his long-held dream. Making his debut for the NSW Blues, he now has the chance to inspire the next generation. As the young gun prepares to represent his state in the fiercely contested State of Origin, Best’s determination and passion for NSW will undoubtedly shine through.