Jared Mullen played his only State of Origin match as a 20-year-old in Game One of the 2007 series.
Before his original selection, playing only nine first-grade matches at halfback and 31 matches in total, he was something of a daredevil.
In a match where New South Wales led 18-6 at Suncorp Stadium, the Maroons returned to their famous Origin to win 25-18.
For Brett Kimorley, Mullen’s omission means that New South Wales have used four halfbacks in four games, with Brett Finch and Craig Gowar also trying.
Despite appearing in more than 200 first-class games for Newcastle until 2016, he never gave up a blues jumper again.
Mullen made headlines after a positive test for anabolic steroids in the 2016-17 off-season and was convicted in 2019 of supplying cocaine.
But the most serious incident was the 2018 drug overdose which he said he was lucky to have survived.
In 2020, he told the Sydney Morning Herald, “When Mom and Dad returned home four hours later, I was unresponsive, gray, suffocated. If I had survived on my own, I would have died.”
“I knew I was taking hardcore drugs, but I still didn’t realize I had a problem, which is amazing. It’s insane.”
Mullen now has a TAFE qualification in Drug and Alcohol Counseling.
“I don’t want a weeping story. I’m taking full responsibility for the road I’ve taken,” he said.
“But I know I’m a good person.”