With Origin I just over two weeks away, plenty of speculation around this week with the squads to be announced at the conclusion of this round.
The biggest speculation will be around the bench utility role with Ryan Papenhuyzen in doubt.
Brad Fittler has said he will speak with Storm coach Craig Bellamy before making a call on the sidelined fullback.
“I’ll speak to Craig Bellamy when. We’ve got until May 30. Everyone’s [been selected in] pencil at the moment. Everyone’s in lead, no ink.” Fittler said via Freddy & the Eighth.
Brad also spoke that Cody Walker could fill the utility role.
“Cody, he was on the bench in Adelaide”
“The times he’s come on in the second half, even the first time he come on he had a massive impact.”
Jack Wighton and Clint Gutherson are also players in line for the role, so we thought we would look at some ‘left-field’ options that we think could work.
In just 21 games, Hynes has made quite a splash in the NRL.
Currently off contract at the end of the year, he is weighing up the option of staying in Melbourne and playing the utility role, or heading elsewhere to find a starting spot.
Covering five-eighth, fullback and interchange, the 24 year old has had an outstanding 2021 so far sitting 2nd in linebreak assists and 4th in try assists, despite playing just 9 games alongside star studded Melbourne outfit.
He has filled in nicely for Papi so far this year when needed, he could do it again for NSW.
Yes, carrying two specialist hookers in the team would be crazy.
But 2021 V’LandoBall is a crazy game, and Origin could throw up some surprises with the way the rules are being enforced.
Now Cookie is almost a given, but Api can add that needed spark, and also has that combo with Cleary.
With QLD possibly looking at that Grant/Mahoney 1-2 punch, why don’t NSW look at their own.
Do I have an obsession with the Dubbo lad? Maybe
Is it because he looks like the GOAT Jeremy Latimore? Possibly
But it’s more to do with what an outstanding out and out footy player he is.
He has been such an outstanding player this year, he could even make the starting side. With Trbojevic, Wighton and Mitchell all having got the job done before in the centres he would struggle, but that #14 role would be perfect for the 21 year old.
Covering every position in the backline, Burton’s big body could also handle the back row.
He is going to be there one day, I think this year is better than any.
What a start to his career this rookie has had.
Covering both five-eighth and second row this year, he has been doing it on both offence and defence.
Averaging 30 tackles and 90 metres per game, he also has 9 assists, but it’s his confidence and calmness that has everyone talking.
Benji Marshall described his debut as: ‘the best debut I’ve seen from a young kid in my time, ever’.
High praise to start but he has continued on this year, playing a pivotal role in Manly’s resurgence after a 0-4 start.
Who do you think will get the utility role for NSW?
– Uncle Roasty