Gillett at ease after making first State of Origin cut
THE Matt Gillett who takes the field in next Wednesday's Origin opener will be an improved version of the rookie who at times went missing in the occasion's "surreal" haze last year.
So saith the man himself, who has been named on Queensland's bench for the second straight series and expects to deliver his best Origin performance in game one at ANZ Stadium.
The disquiet of last year was less intense, he said, adding that he was "over the moon" to get the chance to improve on last year.
He played in all three games off the bench in 2012, but was below his best.
"I definitely feel more at ease," he said.
"Obviously, being in the camp last year and now this year, I'll know what to expect.
"I'll probably be a bit more calmer with the preparation and not worry about what's going to happen on the field. Just let it happen.
"I think this year is going to be a lot better than last year."
The 24-year-old is in a good headspace.
He has cemented a second-row spot at Brisbane this season and signed a new million-dollar three-year-contract.
The Bribie Island Warrigal has worked hard on his consistency and feels it has markedly improved.
"I look forward to the future and I know where I'm gonna be the next three years," he said.
"It's definitely a good thing not having to worry about that side of things.
"I just have to play good footy and hopefully I can continue doing that and hopefully we can go somewhere this season."
Queensland chairman of selectors Des Morris told the Daily last week that while Gillett had not been "outstanding" in recent games, he was "certainly going all right".
"I think he's probably a bit more confident at that level now," Morris said.
"I think he's an improved footballer since then (last year's series).
"He's probably become more consistent."