Norman caps comeback with Origin selection

Dragons star Corey Norman is in line to make his Queensland debut in Origin III at ANZ Stadium. (AAP)

St George Illawarra playmaker Corey Norman has capped one of the great comebacks by earning a Queensland debut in the State of Origin series decider.

Nine years is a long time to wait for a State of Origin debut.

But Corey Norman would have been forgiven for thinking Queensland selection was an eternity away not so long ago.

At 27, the St George Illawarra playmaker will cap one of the great comebacks when he runs out for the Maroons in July 10's Origin decider in Sydney.

Norman finally gets an Origin nod after playing 180 games since his 2010 NRL debut.

But just three years ago Norman appeared to have his Origin cards marked.

The five-eighth was suspended for the final eight weeks of the 2016 season for a string of offences, including pleading guilty to drug possession although his conviction was overturned on appeal.

He was also reprimanded for filming a lewd act and drug use as well as consorting with criminals.

Back then it was enough for Maroons great Darren Lockyer to fire a very public rocket up Norman, claiming he had to "keep his head down and bum up moving forward" if the playmaker ever wanted to realise his Origin dream.

But all was forgiven on Monday after Queensland coach Kevin Walters gave the Dragons X-factor the Origin stamp of approval.

"Corey Norman has been playing in the NRL for 10 years now waiting for an opportunity at this level," he said.

"Now he is here on the big stage for a State of Origin in a decider - it doesn't get any bigger than that for Corey.

"And knowing Corey and his personality, he is very excited by it all and looking forward to the match and all it brings.

"He will perform on the big stage. We have a lot of faith and a lot of trust in what he brings as a player."

Norman appeared to stumble again just last year, copping another $20,000 fine from then NRL club Parramatta for drinking while on their injured list after posting pictures of himself consuming alcohol on social media.

However, Norman has turned it around since his switch from the Eels to the Dragons this season.

Walters said Norman's chequered past was now "irrelevant".

"All I have looked at is his last six weeks of football. He's been really good for the Dragons," he said.

"He has found a home there in many ways.

"He will be ready to go.

"And Corey is that type of player I think the bigger the occasion the better he will go - I know that for a fact."

Source AAP

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