It didn’t take long for the perfect world that the New South Wales camp had created to be shattered by injuries and suspensions.
With Jarryd Hayne struggling to overcome a hamstring injury and James Tamou getting taxi’s everywhere from now on, the Blues have a couple of big holes in their lineup they may have to fill for State Of Origin two.
When you consider that Suncorp Stadium is basically going to be going crazy and screaming for New South Wales blood, the Blues need to make sure they select players that won’t be overawed by the situation.
I tend to think that Hayne will be cleared to play in the second State Of Origin game. It wouldn’t surprise me is that happened very close to game day though. So who could replace him if he is deemed unfit?
It wasn’t all that long ago that Dugan was sacked from being completely unprofessional. Only in Rugby League would we think of rewarding a player who acted like Dugan did a few months ago with a representative jersey. Unfortunately he is probably the best option available at fullback.
It wasn’t too long ago that Mini would have walked into the New South Wales side. He used to be as safe as houses. Over the last couple of seasons a few defensive issues have creeped into his game though that worry me.
James Tamou has really put the Blues in a tough situation. So who could replace him?
I think Grant is over rated by a lot of people. His form this season hasn’t been as good as many Panthers fans would have you believe and his recent injury concerns don’t help his chances.
I tend to think Aaron Woods is soft. When was the last time you saw him stamping his authority in a game against an opposition forward pack? Sure he gets through a lot of work for a front rower but he isn’t the type of player that is going to worry Queensland at all.
Quite frankly I find the speculation that New South Wales will select Willie Mason a bit ridiculous. He is playing OK for the Newcastle Knights but he is not playing anywhere near the level needed to play well at State Of Origin level.
It would be a huge step up for James but he would bring size to the Blues lineup. James is an aggressive player and that is an attribute the Blues could use in game two. Its possible he will be an Origin player of the future anyway.
A no nonsense player who would get through a lot of work. I worry about these type of players at representative level. I tend to think you need far more impact to stop up from club level and get the job done.
At this stage I’d go with Dugan and Ryan James. So who would you select? Have your say in the comments box below!