A HORROR start to the year that saw police officer Helen McMurtrie in the fight for her life was forgotten for a moment ahead of the first State of Origin clash.
The NSW Blues and Australian swimming legend Dawn Fraser gave New England Police District officers Mark Johnston, Samantha Petty and Senior Constable McMurtrie a warm welcome to the field.
Sergeant Johnston and Senior Constable McMurtrie were both shot while on duty at a domestic incident in Glen Innes in January, but on Wednesday it was all smiles.
"It was great to see these three out and about, laughing and joking with the players," District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner said.
"Mark, Helen and Sam have had a horror start to the year and I'm pleased to see them on their way back to being their best.
"We appreciate this opportunity from the NSW Blues and wish them all the best tonight."
Constable Petty and Sergeant Johnston have both returned to duty while Senior Constable McMurtrie is still recovering from the effects of the horrific incident.