Enforcer underdone? Aaron Woods and David Klemmer arrive for the NSW Blues Origin team training session at the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour. Picture: Gregg Porteous
Enforcer underdone? Aaron Woods and David Klemmer arrive for the NSW Blues Origin team training session at the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour. Picture: Gregg Porteous

Woods ‘relieved’ to miss Origin

NEW South Wales forward David Klemmer has revealed his Canterbury teammate Aaron Woods was 'relieved' when he found out he wasn't selected for Origin.

In a candid insight to his teammates axing, Klemmer said even though Woods was 'disappointed at the same time it was a weight lifted off his shoulders'.

The Bulldogs have the bye this weekend meaning Woods has escaped the fishbowl of Sydney to get away and 'clear his mind'.

And Klemmer agreed time away from football was the best thing for his close mate.

"I caught up with him and we had a coffee … he's a bit relieved," he said.

"He's pretty disappointing too but it's how things work out.

Woods was a mainstay at Origin level for the past few seasons.
Woods was a mainstay at Origin level for the past few seasons.

"He's going to get away from footy for a bit with his missus and he's going to come back bigger and stronger and keep playing footy."

Klemmer said the intense level of scrutiny from fans and the pressure to keep his Blues jumper have weighed heavy on Woods.

The former Wests Tigers prop joined the Belmore club on a rich four-year deal but the Bulldogs' losing start to the year has only amplified the criticism levelled at him.

"We both love playing State of Origin football … but the things that get said in the media leading up to Origin and the way people hammer us when you play football," he said.

"You walk down the street and people hammer you.

Klemmer and Woods are best mates off the field.
Klemmer and Woods are best mates off the field.

"It's always in the back of your mind and when you look at your phone it's there."

According to the Blues enforcer, the situation isn't helped by the current salary cap dramas at the club.

Playmaker Moses Mbye has been released to join the Tigers and rumours are rife Woods is already being offered to other sides despite only playing 12 games in the blue and white.

"Even my name popped up before as did other players [as being shopped around]," Klemmer said.

"It's pretty hard when especially the fans, if you do end up leaving they ask 'why are you not loyal?' I think they don't get the bigger picture.

"It's a business as well now.

"That's something when I first come through I thought loyalty was everything, I'm a very loyal person.

"But it's not like that anymore. It's a business. People are shopped around.

"And for Woodsy that's got to be pretty hard and on his mind as well."

Not playing Origin means Woods can concentrate on playing good football for the Bulldogs and help lift his side off the bottom of the NRL ladder.

"Now he can just relax and not worry about trying to do other things, just worry about getting back to his game and the way Aaron Woods plays football," Klemmer said.

"That's what he's relieved about.

"He's got a couple of days off now and he'll come back and finish the season off strong."

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