“It’s not what he does on the field but what he also does off it,” Meninga said. “Boyd is a role model. He’s captain of the Kangaroos and that is someone who is admired and respected by everyone in the game, not just the players, but everybody who follows rugby league.”
Cordner told the Herald he was excited about the special milestones that awaited him in the coming months, but had also learned not to look too far ahead.
“Sometimes I find it hard to believe I’m in this position I’m in,” said Cordner, who will lead the Blues out to a chorus of boos at Suncorp Stadium.
“At the same time I’ve been guilty of looking too far ahead to the future and putting unexpected pressure on stuff I can’t control. I’ve tried to learn how to live in the moment.
“I like everything about this team. There’s talent, desire, hard work, passion. I just believe we can win. I’ve got all the confidence in the world that if everyone executes their role, we’ll get the win.”
Cordner said he embraced the deafening jeers from the Queensland fans when he led his team on to the hallowed turf.
“It’s awesome, it’s hostile, but that’s what Origin is about and why we love it,” he said, as he looked up and around at the empty seats at Suncorp.
“I can’t wait to run out here. Any Origin game is easy to get up for, but especially up here, it’s enemy territory, and we’re looking forward to it.”
The recently released documentary Behind The Blues, which was a behind-the-scenes look at last year’s series win, featured an emotional Cordner addressing the players before game two in Sydney.
“I’m often asked what I will say to guys before running out, but I always give the same answer, which is ‘I don’t know’,” Cordner said.
“It definitely comes from the heart and what I’m feeling at the time. If I try to script it, it doesn’t come across as genuine. It’s not heartfelt.
“I’ve had captains in the past and anyone who stands up and shows emotion at meetings, I love that. it shows how much they care. I like that trait. I’m still learning and growing and there is no blueprint on how to be a certain type of leader.”
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.