The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Australian vice-captain and Melbourne Storm prop Robbie Kearns is happy to be home after enduring a long and at times, trying tour of Europe with the Ashes-winning Kangaroo side.
After being knocked-out in two of the three Ashes Tests against the British Lions and being away from his wife and three children for over a month, the 31-year old veteran front-rower is looking forward to a break before commencing pre-season training with the Storm.
?Even though I didn?t participate too much in the Test matches, not through my own doing, I was really happy to be a part of it,? Kearns said after touching down in Sydney with his Kangaroo teammates this morning.
?I just appreciate the fact that I was on the tour and had a really good time with the guys and to come away with the Ashes was a great effort.
?It?s good to be home more so than ever this time, obviously I?ve enjoyed every tour I?ve gone on but I?ve really missed the family big time and I?m now going to enjoy these next couple of weeks off.?
As well as being knocked-out in two of the three Ashes Test matches, Kearns suffered the same fate against the Bulldogs in the Storm?s final game of the year and was momentarily KO?d three weeks later against New Zealand.
But despite suffering four knockouts in the past eight weeks the Storm?s Player of the Year is adamant he?ll be fighting fit once he resumes training after Christmas.
?I went through a bad stage in 1996 where I was getting knocked-out a lot and sure enough when I had a bit of a rest in the off-season, I came out of it really confident the next year and didn?t get a knockout for another couple of seasons,? Kearns explained.
?At the moment it seems like I?ve got a bit of a glass jaw and a change of wind would knock me over, but I?m fine and confident there?ll be no problems next year.?
The former Melbourne skipper didn?t rule out returning to the representative arena next year, but conceded that he had probably played his final match in the green and gold.
?I haven?t really had a big think about it, but at my age, I?m turning 32 next month, it?s more than likely my last representative game,? added Kearns, who has represented his country on 22 occasions.
?There?s a lot of great young forwards coming through and I wouldn?t want to hold any of them back.?
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