The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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After last year's omission from the national team, Storm five-eighth Scott Hill has been called up to the Australian test side for this Friday's encounter with Great Britain.
Hill was delighted to be named as starting lock for the one-off test match and is relieved to be making his return to the international scene - his first green and gold jersey since 2000.
“It's just really good to be picked after the last year and a half where I've been out of the selectors minds a bit,” Hill explained.
“It was a real relief to finally get the call last night and it's a strong positive I can take out of the year.
“It hasn't been the best year for the club so far, but hopefully we can have a strong second half of the season…an individual honour like this gives me great confidence for the rest of the year.”
Melbourne coach Mark Murray believes Hill's selection is reward for his hard work and persistence after being overlooked for selection in 2001.
“It's a good return for him (Hill), he's been out of the Australian team for a couple of seasons - probably a little unfairly,” said Murray.
“I think he's been a little frustrated playing five-eighth for us and knowing that his best chance representatively is lock. So to see him get back in the side, particularly in the starting lock position, is a great reward for him.”
Meanwhile Murray is aware that the tenth placed Storm (6-1-9) must lift for this Saturday's home clash with Roosters, currently sitting in fifth place (10-1-5).
“This weekend the quality of the opposition will be better so that will demand a fair bit more from us,” Murray said.
“Last week's win (over the Tigers) was a good response to the weekend before just getting the job done and the win on the board, but we will need to be at our best this week.
“I think defensively we were better last week and we'll need to continue that, but probably the major improvement will have to be our work with the ball.”
The Melbourne coach was particularly satisfied with the form of forward Peter Robinson, who was best on field in last week's narrow win over Wests.
“The last couple of weeks he (Robinson) has been getting back to the form that he finished in last year,” Murray said.
“He had a slow start to the year but over the last couple of weeks has started to really step up again - as we know he can.”
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