NRL 2024: Isaah Yeo gutted for Dylan Edwards who will miss State of Origin

NSW veteran Isaah Yeo says he is “deeply disappointed” that his Penrith teammate Dylan Edwards will not get the chance to make his State of Origin debut, but the injured star is still “working hard” in training camp to keep the new energy alive at the Blues, who welcome back former captain James Tedesco.

Edwards picked up a hamstring injury during extra training sessions as he prepared for his first try at fullback for the Blues after dominating the club for four years and this could no longer be ignored.

Despite missing his debut, Edwards is hopeful he will return in time to be ready for the second game in Melbourne on June 26. The last-minute injury prompted Panthers teammate Yeo to feel sorry for his pal.

“I felt like it took a long time for him to finally get his chance and then he (got injured),” Yeo said.

“Even the way he did it, did some extra work and tried to do the right thing at the end of practice. I’m disappointed for him and the chance he had, but at the same time, it’s not often that you can get a person of the caliber of ‘Ted’ on the team.”

Edwards is one of the most humble players in the NRL who keeps everything to himself, but even Yeo could see his close mate was devastated to miss the game.

Yet Edwards acted like a team and immediately raised his hand when he knew something was wrong, rather than trying to hide it and carry on playing despite the pain, which could have backfired in the game as the Blues currently have no full-back on the bench.

“He was as devastated as one can be in that environment,” Yeo said.

“Now it’s all over and we have to move on but he’s still in camp which is good for Madge (NSW coach Michael Maguire) and Dyl as a person because it probably would have been easy to go home and hide for a few days.

“He is still here and contributing to the team. That is his kind of person and that is the environment we want to build here.

“You don’t want to go into the game with a little ache and then have to drop out after five or ten minutes.

“He did the right thing by marking it to see what was wrong but the scan didn’t come back perfectly. I’m disappointed for him but that’s something he could have held back but then you wouldn’t have known what was going to happen during the game.”

Losing a key player just days before the series opener would normally throw a campaign into disarray, but having a man who has been in the previous 22 Origins helps enormously.

Yeo dismissed any suggestions of animosity given Tedesco was left out of the squad for Wednesday’s game, with the former Blues captain providing stability and leadership to a team looking to end Queensland’s two-year dominance.

“It’s not often that someone like Ted plays his 23rd game in a row,” he said.

“He’s captained his state and had success with NSW, so it’s a seamless transition as he’s played with a lot of the guys before and the systems are all pretty similar.

“We are very lucky in that respect that even though something like this happened so late, we were still able to sign someone of his caliber and everything went smoothly.”

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