My brother is made for Origin: Dan Saifiti

Daniel Saifiti has opened up on the emotional moment his twin brother and Newcastle teammate Jacob told him he would be playing his first match for the NSW Blues.

And he declared that Jacob was better equipped for State of Origin than he was on debut.

Daniel has worn the sky blue strip on seven occasions since making his debut in 2019 but a maiden Origin cap eluded Jacob in that time.

However, when front-rowers Payne Haas and Jordan McLean were ruled out of Wednesday’s decider through injury, mantap168 the softly-spoken Jacob was thrust into the run-on side.

Daniel was on the massage table after Knights training when his brother rang with the news.

“I was the first person he called,” Daniel said.

“He was breaking down, all the emotions hit him.

“We had a little cry together about everything, how far he’s come, everything he’s overcome.He deserves it.”

NSW coach Brad Fittler chose to hand Saifiti his debut rather than recall Reagan Campbell-Gillard, who was one of only three Blues forwards to run for over 100 metres in the series opener.

The selection call might have surprised some but Daniel said a player like his brother belonged in the Origin arena.

“They picked the right guy,” he said.

“He does the stuff that the average fan might not see but his teammates and his coaching staff appreciate.

“His push supports, his line speed, kick pressure, all the stuff that doesn’t require much skill but a lot of effort, that’s his game and that’s what wins Origin games.”

Saifiti said his twin had done more to earn an Origin debut than he did back in 2019.

“He’s playing way better footy,” he said.

“He’s older, more mature, so he’s more than ready compared to when I made my debut. I’m excited to see him play.”

Saifiti is aiming to fly up to Suncorp Stadium for the decider with his family and cheer his brother on in the stands.

“I think I’ll be more nervous than him,” Daniel said.

In the meantime, Daniel had some advice for the soon-to-be Origin debutant.

“(Origin) is sort of NRL on steroids,” he said.

“It’s faster, more physical. Your head will spin and your lungs will be blown but just keep moving you’re feet and you’ll be fine.

“I can’t wait to watch him kill it.”

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