Singleton bull rider Cody Heffernan will once again lead team NSW as captain when the professional bull riding origin series gets underway at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre next month.
Heffernan, who currently sits eighth on the national standings, said despite being the reigning national champion, he is not thinking about the pressure of bringing the Origin title to New South Wales for the first time.
"Being named the captain of NSW again means a great deal to me. It's a huge honour and a role that I don't take lightly," Heffernan said. "If I was (thinking about the added pressure), I'm not focused on the right things. These bulls don't know your resumé."
The PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour Origin Series takes on a team format, with riders not only aiming to earn crucial individual points in the race to the Grand Finals in November, but each successful eight-second ride will contribute to their overall team score to win the coveted PBR State of Origin perpetual trophy.
"It's pretty special to be a part of," Heffernan said. "It's just a different feel, the energy, and the excitement.
"The crowd is more invested in each ride because every out matters, whether it's a complete eight seconds or a buck off. It's easy to follow - ride more bulls for the eight seconds than Queensland."
The PBR BAD (Bulls, Bands, and Bikes After Dark) event in Winton, Queensland, at the end of the month will be the last chance for riders to qualify for the first origin event in Newcastle.
Heffernan said there are several riders to keep an eye out for.
"We've had Josh Birks come out of retirement this year. He's my age and I'd consider him one of the greatest bull riders of the past 15 years. You can always count on Lachlan Richardson to step up for the team of course, and Sam Woodall, he's always exciting to watch," Heffernan said.
Leading Team Queensland again is four-time national champion, Aaron Kleier from Clermont, who will look to continue Queensland's winning streak by securing a fourth Origin title.
Queensland remains undefeated in the Origin series since its inception in 2019 (no origin held in 2020 due to the pandemic).
Professional Bull Riders Australia Monster Energy Tour Origin Series will kick off on Saturday, April 22 at Newcastle Entertainment Centre Showground, Brown Road, Broadmeadow, from 7pm to 10pm.
For ticket information head to www.pbraustralia.com.au
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