The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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A FAMILIAR face will grace Dolphin Oval this season ? a ground he knows only too well from his previous time at the club. Nathan Herberner, who turned out for the Dolphins for three seasons in the late ?90s, returns older, wiser and hopefully luckier. Herberner concedes he has battled bad luck with injuries throughout his football career, although he now believes he has turned the corner after an injury-free run recently. The giant prop also was well known to Redcliffe Leagues Club patrons after working on the ground staff during his earlier time on the Peninsula. From 1997 to March 2000, Herberner worked his way through the grades from Colts to Premier League before repeat sternum injuries forced him out of the game. He returned to his home town of Roma in south-west Queensland to recuperate and then spend three years with Wattles club and then a season with Cities in Roma. ?I always wanted to come back to Brisbane and give it another go,? he said. ?It always weighs on your mind what might have been and after I had no injuries this season and got a bit of fitness I decided to come back. ?I had a few calls from other clubs, but it was always going to be Redcliffe as I knew what the set-up was and quite a few of the players. I?d like to see if I could go further in the game. ?Through bad luck, injuries have let me down in the past and I?m now hoping I?m over that.?? Herberner made a name for himself over the past two seasons with his displays for the Queensland Rangers, the representative side which takes in competitions outside the Queensland Cup. He was a key member both years when the Rangers downed New South Wales Country with Redcliffe winger Liam Georgetown a team-mate in the 2004 thumping. Herbie, now 25, won a Colts premiership in 1997 with current Redcliffe coach Anthony Griffin in charge, spent the next year in Colts under Keith Boardman and then played seniors in 1999. ?Troy Lindsay was there when I was while Mick Roberts was in the Colts team with me,? he said. ?I?m hoping to crack a spot in the Premier League and although Troy and Adam Starr are there, I?m not sure who else is.? At 108 kilograms, Herberner shape as a ready-made replacement for Nathan Sologinkin, who has retired. ?I am living at Strathpine and my work involves unloading shipping containers, so I?m a bit busier than I was in Roma, where it was a bit more relaxed,? he said. ?But I?m enjoying training and can?t wait for the season to start.?