When green and gold is just as good as blue
Ryan Hoffman ... was disappointed to miss out on the NSW State of Origin team. Photo: Getty Images
MELBOURNE forward Ryan Hoffman swears he was not ticked off when he failed to achieve the goal he had set himself.
Hoffman admits playing representative rugby league again was his main mission when he made a surprising return from England to the NRL this season.
Snubbed for the NSW State of Origin team despite a stellar year, Hoffman has finally been rewarded with representative selection - for Australia's Test against New Zealand in Townsville on Saturday week.
He bears the Origin selectors no ill will. The 28-year-old said he knew he was doing all he could, and that different selection panels had different requirements.
''I was very confident in my ability,'' he said. ''I knew I still had the ability to play rep footy - and that's why I came back to Australia, to be honest. It just comes down to consistent performance, and what the selectors want. When it comes to rep footy, you've just got to make sure you're playing consistently well and you're happy with what you're doing.
''I have been. If it wasn't what the selectors were looking for, I understand that. To be back and given that opportunity, I'm looking forward to repaying the faith of selectors.''
Hoffman has played only four Tests and has not taken part in representative rugby league since 2009, when he played for Australia against France.
After winning the grand final with the Storm on Sunday, Hoffman hopes to cap off a massive fortnight when he lines up alongside fellow Melbourne premiership stars Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater for Australia. They will take on the Storm's Kiwi duo Kevin Proctor and Jesse Bromwich.
Hoffman and his teammates continued their week of celebrations with a civic reception at Melbourne's Crown Casino yesterday.
They will also celebrate with No.1 ticketholder Ian ''Molly'' Meldrum at a private function and attend the club's player of the year awards tomorrow night.