Daly Cherry-Evans is ready to try to walk in the footsteps of Cooper Cronk.As Daly Cherry-Evans gets set to renew his club rivalry with Cooper Cronk, he’s already dreaming of inheriting his Queensland Origin No.7 jersey.
Manly halfback Cherry-Evans’ head-to-head battle with Cronk shapes as a mouth-watering subplot to Saturday’s trial against the Sydney Roosters at Gosford on the NSW central coast.
Not only will Cronk be turning out for his side for the first time, Cherry-Evans will have a chance out-point the man he hopes to succeed as the Maroons and Kangaroos playmaker.
While a ball has yet to be kicked in anger this NRL season, and Origin is still four months away, Cherry-Evans is making his representative ambitions known after being controversially overlooked in 2017.
“I want to play for Queensland again,” Cherry-Evans said.
“Hopefully I can improve on my season last year, I felt like last year was a great step towards trying to gain a spot in that side.
“If I can improve again on last season, I’m definitely putting myself in contention.
“I’m still super ambitious to get back there.”
With Cronk and Johnathan Thurston both retiring from representative football, there’s a vacuum in the Maroons’ halves – one which Cherry-Evans wants to fill.
The Sea Eagles 2011 premiership winner was snubbed by coach Kevin Walters for last year’s series decider, instead picking Melbourne’s Cameron Munster at five-eighth and Ben Hunt to fill the bench utility spot.
Munster and North Queensland’s Michael Morgan seem to have the inside running for the 2018 series, however Cherry-Evans isn’t giving up without a fight.
Asked if he revelled in facing off against Cronk, Cherry-Evans said: “I definitely indulge in those thoughts during the season. But not for a trial.”