Rugby League

Rejuvenated Edrick Lee ready to move on from Queensland Origin curfew drama

Edrick Lee knows it's his own fault he won't wear a Maroon jersey until at least next year, a dream he's harboured since he was "a little kid". 

But the Canberra Raiders winger has vowed to move on from the Queensland emerging squad saga and is more confident than ever before Saturday's season opener against Penrith. 

Edrick Lee says the ban was a learning experience.
Edrick Lee says the ban was a learning experience.  Photo: Rohan Thomson

Lee was one of eight youngsters banned from Origin selection for 12 months after breaking curfew during a camp in Brisbane. 

However the winger's representative debut for the Indigenous All Stars last month has him ready to strike on the end of one of the strongest Raiders back lines in years. 

"It [the ban] was just more a learning experience, that you're in a unique position in camp," he said.  

"What's happened has happened and I've put that behind me and I'm really focused on the Raiders – it starts this weekend. 

"As a little kid everyone wants to play for their state so it's unfortunate what's happened, but I'll put that behind me and move forward now."

Early last year, the charismatic Lee had lost his trademark confidence after a slow start to the season. 

A move to centre didn't go according to plan, but he regained his mojo when he returned to the wing, resulting in his selection as Queensland 18th man for Origin III. 

It also helps he played 23 games last year, after injuries restricted him to just 17 combined the previous two seasons. 

"The confidence is there now, especially after the All Stars game," he said. 

"To be in that game has definitely built my belief more and I want to put my best foot forward for the Raiders. 

"Off the field it was one of the best weeks I've had, giving back to the Brisbane community where I'm from.

"Being in camp with the likes of Greg Inglis and Sam Thaiday, it can only help me improve." 

Lee said the fact he can no longer take his spot for granted will help him reach the next level. 

Jordan Rapana, who has done little wrong, could be the unlucky outside back to miss out when the team to play the Panthers at Canberra Stadium is named on Tuesday.   

"This is the first year in a while we've got a lot of depth in the outside backs," Lee said. 

"It improves me every day knowing there are guys there who can take my position. 

"Off the field we're all good mates, so that helps."