Tough Gallen's tears telling father he was out of Origin
THE toughest forward in rugby league broke down and cried when he told his father injury would prevent him playing in the State of Origin decider tonight.
Twin Waters plumber Garry Gallen said it was impossible to explain how devastated his tough-as-teak son Paul, the NSW captain and prop forward, was when he realised he would not be able to play because of a foot injury.
"It's the most disappointed I've ever heard him be in his life," Garry said.
"He was in tears."
Garry said Paul's devastation was born of a desire to win after Queensland had dominated the series for so long.
"He loves the game and looks at Origin as the purest form of football,'' Garry said.
Gallen senior will be in Sydney today for the expected birth of his daughter's baby, but has been barred from attending the game.
"Paul rang me and said 'Have you been to a winning (for NSW) Origin game?','' Garry said. "I said 'No' and he told me I can't go.
"Everything's on the line. Superstition counts.''
Such is his importance to the culture of the NSW playing group that Paul Gallen has spent the week in the Blues' Origin camp.
"If Paul was playing and NSW won I think he would have retired after tomorrow night,'' Garry said. "But now he will probably go again.''
Just shy of his 32nd birthday the aging Cronulla forward pushes himself through additional training sessions to enable him to deliver the playing intensity that has seen him represent NSW 16 times and Australia on 24 occasions.
Those 16 appearances for NSW have netted the 2012 Dally M lock of the year only five wins.
"I worry if NSW will be confident enough to beat them,'' Gallen senior said yesterday.
"It really is Australia 1 versus Australia 2. Queensland just thinks they're the best, while NSW chops and changes.
"But arguably there will be 34 of the best rugby league players in the world out there.
"That's what the hype is all about.
"You play Origin you become a rugby league god.''