RUGBY LEAGUE: Injured Brisbane winger Jharal Yow Yeh says Brent Tate, his replacement in the Queensland team for this year’s State of Origin series, is just the inspiration he needs to fight his way back to the top level after his season was ruined by an horrific ankle injury.
Yow Yeh required a delicate skin graft and spent 35 days in hospital before surgeons inserted a plate and nine screws in his ankle after the speedster suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle playing against South Sydney in Perth in March.
While the 22-year-old faces a long rehabilitation from the shocking injury, he’s happy his place in the Maroons side on the right wing has been filled by Tate – a player who has more than once fought back from serious injury to re-establish himself as a representative player.
“If everything went right I probably would have been here (playing),” Yow Yeh said in Melbourne on Tuesday after being invited into the Queensland camp.
“But to see someone (Tate) come back from the injuries he’s had is very inspirational to me.
“Hopefully next year I’m back playing good footy and I’m playing Origin again.”
Yow Yeh said he was uncertain if his presence in Origin camp will inspire the Queensland players on Wednesday night.
“It might, it might not,” said Yow Yeh.
“I’d say they’d be looking at Artie (Arthur Beetson) and Petero’s (Civoniceva) last year as well. I think they’d want to win the series for him.”
He said being invited to Melbourne for the first game made him feel like he was still part of the Maroons family after he played in all three games in 2011.
“They’re looking after me I still feel part of this team,” he said as Queensland players greeted him with high fives and handshakes.
“It means a lot to be a proud Queenslander and to still be a part of it (Origin) when you’re injured is something special.”
Yow Yeh said when he was lying in his hospital bed day after day, procedure after procedure, he didn’t think he’d be in Melbourne watching the first game of Origin.
“I’m definitely going to get itchy feet tomorrow night watching the boys,” he grinned.