Jake Trbojevic is thrilled to be back representing NSW in the State of Origin series, but he can’t help but feel a sense of disappointment that his younger brother, Tom, couldn’t join him in camp this week. While Jake was keen to discuss his own recall to the Blues, he couldn’t help but express his sympathy for Tom, who recently suffered a season-ending pectoral injury. Jake has always been emotional when talking about his brother’s unfortunate luck with injuries.
“I’m very sad for Tom, he’s had such a hard run lately, I have a lot of empathy for him, I see how hard he trains, and it’s almost like, ‘why does it happen to him?’ – I wish it happened to me,” Jake said.
Jake recalled a somber night at a Manly Sea Eagles fundraiser when Tom sustained the injury during Origin II. The moment wasn’t pleasant, and Jake and others immediately knew that something serious had occurred. Having previously experienced a pectoral injury himself, Jake understood how easily they could happen. The situation was devastating for Tom, and Jake couldn’t help but wish he could have been there for the first two Origin games.
Tom tore his pectoral muscle while trying to prevent Queensland’s Reece Walsh from scoring a try in the early minutes of the second game. After undergoing surgery, Tom returned to the hospital over the weekend due to feeling unwell. Blues coach Brad Fittler admitted on Tuesday that Tom had complications with the surgery, but Tom clarified that it was more precautionary and that his spirits were lifted knowing his older brother was back in the NSW team following a calf strain.
“I’m really proud of Jake, Manly and NSW are a better side when he’s out there – we’ll see that next week,” Tom expressed.
Jake has been through a tough period of injuries, returning to play well against Canberra but unfortunately re-injuring himself. Despite the setbacks, his dedication to the team and willingness to put his body on the line have not wavered.
As for his own recovery, Tom acknowledged that it has been a difficult journey but remained optimistic. He understands that injuries are a part of rugby league and life in general. Retirement has never crossed his mind at the age of 26, as he firmly believes there is still plenty of football ahead of him.
With Jake named to start in the front row, it will mark the sixth time in the past six seasons that he and Tom have played together for NSW out of a possible 18 games. Jake expressed his love for being back in camp and the significance of representing his state, emphasizing that wearing the Blues jersey is always special, regardless of the match’s importance.
“Anytime you get to wear this jersey is special. It doesn’t matter if it’s a ‘dead-rubber’ or a decider, I’m happy to be back, I’ll enjoy the week and do my best, that’s all you can ask,” Jake concluded.