Gallen embarrassed about Myles fight

NSW captain Paul Gallen admits he is embarrassed about his fight with Nate Myles in last year's Origin series opener and does not want to be known as the player whose actions led to the end of brawling in rugby league.

A year after serving a one-match ban for unleashing a series of blows on Myles just before half-time in the first Origin match at ANZ Stadium, Gallen conceded there was "not a chance" of a repeat incident next Wednesday night because of the NRL's "no punch" rule.

The controversial edict for referees to sin-bin any player who throws a punch was delivered by NRL chief executive Dave Smith following a raft of complaints over the lack of on-field action against Gallen and the 32-year-old Blues forward conceded fighting had now virtually been eliminated at the elite level of the game.

"I get embarrassed about that incident with Nate Myles because it is not part of the game, it was just something that happened," Gallen said. "People say all the time would you change it and I wouldn't change it because I know what happened on the field. I don't regret it, it is just something that happened. I just don't like talking about it.

"I am a football player and I don't want to go out being remembered for having a fight with Nate Myles or that being the fight to end all fights in rugby league. It is just embarrassing and I just want to concentrate on playing football."

Despite Gallen telling referees that Myles had been twisting his knees for "series upon series" and Jarryd Hayne saying after the match that the Maroons enforcer "leads with his head" and had been "using it to sort of head-butt people to an extent", the NSW skipper insisted there was no lingering bad blood between the players.

"Honestly, me and Nate have never had a problem and we still don't," Gallen said. "Me and Nate did a commercial the other day for mental health so we don't have a problem with each other."

Gallen told a lunch last Tuesday at which the Blues team was named of his "genuine hatred" for the Maroons but he insisted it did not extend to a personal level and Fairfax Media saw no sign of a NSW-Queensland divide among members of the Australian squad during last year's World Cup. While there was a healthy rivalry for positions in the Test team, Gallen said he had shared some of his greatest achievements in the game with players who will be in the opposition side at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday night.

"I really do like them and it is not a hatred thing in those sort of games. People carry on like we don't like each other and that is not true," Gallen said.

"I commend them as blokes and they are good fellows but when it comes to this time of year we have both got a job to do and let's be honest, we don't have to tiptoe around it, there is genuine hatred between the two states. That is just the way it is, they will do whatever they have to do to win and we will do the same."

Having repeatedly said he plans to retire when his contract with Cronulla expires at the of next season, time is running out for Gallen to play for NSW in a winning series but he believes the Blues are on the verge of ending Queensland's eight-year domination.

"We are not going up there for any other reason but to win," he said. "People can say what they like but we are going to build a culture amongst ourselves and a belief that we can do it. We are going to be very well prepared and and at the end of the day Origin is about desire and wanting to rip in. If we can have 17 players doing that we are going to be really hard to beat. There is not much between the two sides, it is a shame they have won eight series in a row but you have seen the past two years that we have dominated a game, they have dominated a game and the decider has come down to one point or two points last year so we are very close."

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