Dane Gagai looks crucial to the Maroons' chances in Origin II.
Dane Gagai looks crucial to the Maroons' chances in Origin II.

‘Worst start to a camp’: Gagai reveals horror Origin lead-up

THE flight to Perth for Sunday's State of Origin II was bad enough for Queensland winger Dane Gagai.

Then he tried to collect his bags.

Gagai has revealed he had the "worst start to a camp" after coming down with illness mid-flight, before realising his luggage had been lost on arrival in Western Australia.

But the Maroons' matchwinner has backed himself to fire in game two as he looks to extend his remarkable strike rate of 11 tries in as many Origins.

Gagai admitted the signs weren't good when he flew into Perth feeling a bit worse for wear.

Somehow, his plight worsened after arriving.

Dane Gagai has had a horror Origin II preparation.
Dane Gagai has had a horror Origin II preparation.

"It was probably the worst start to a camp I've had. I got here and I obviously wasn't feeling the greatest on the flight," he told the QRL website.

"And then once we touched down in Perth, I went to collect my bags and they'd forgot to put one of my bags with all of my clothes on the plane.

"Lucky I had all my Origin gear, but I was short of undies and socks and my casual clothes so I had to hang around in Queensland gear until my stuff got here.

"Me not feeling well escalated from there and I got pretty crook but, luckily, the staff here and the doc, he helped me get through it - I'm feeling a million times better."

Queensland coach Kevin Walters revealed on Friday that Gagai had been in "bed for days" since flying into Perth, forcing officials to quarantine the try magnet in camp.

Dane Gagai was man of the match in Origin I.
Dane Gagai was man of the match in Origin I.

And when Gagai did catch up with teammates, they didn't exactly welcome him back.

"Sitting in my room was doing my head in," Gagai said.

"Once I did get amongst the group, they quickly told me to get back to my room and get away, not to make them sick.

"Just a bit of banter, which was good - what I was missing. But it's good to be back around the playing group again."

Walters has dismissed any fitness concerns for Gagai ahead of game two, opening the door for the winger to extend one of the great Origin try-scoring streaks.

After only 11 games, he is already one four-pointer away from equalling Billy Slater (31 Origins) and Dale Shearer (26), who are tied third on the Origin try- scorers' list.

He boosted his tally with a stunning two-try effort in Queensland's comeback 18-14 game one win in which he also amassed 262m.

He is aiming to become the first Origin player to achieve two try-scoring doubles in one series.

"He's got 11 tries in 11 games, which is something he is proud of and he wants to add to that tally on Sunday," Walters said.

News Corp Australia

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