Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
There has recently been plenty of discussion surrounding who will play five-eighth for New South Wales in the 2023 State of Origin series.
Jarome Luai is the incumbent Blues number six and won a series with his state in 2021.
Following his triumph with New South Wales the 26-year-old has gone on to win two premierships with his club side the Penrith Panthers and was a part of the Samoan side that did the imaginable and reached the 2021 Rugby League World Cup Final.
However, Luai’s form has not been consistent in 2023 which has had many doubting his ability on the Origin stage, leading to a groundswell of support for Nicho Hynes to start at five-eighth for the Blues.
Last year Hynes had a breakout first season with the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks and won the Dally M Player of the Year award.
Not much has changed this year either as Hynes has continued to be the Sharks most important player as they currently find themselves in the top four.
Despite this Luai is expected to keep the Blues number-six jersey according to a recent report from The Daily Telegraph.
“Dally M medal winner Nicho Hynes has earned his dream NSW jersey,” stated the article by David Riccio, Brent Read and Michael Carayannis.
BREAKING: Nicho Hynes has earned his Origin dream, and Brad Fittler's Game 1 team is taking shape. The latest team news via @DaveRic1
LIKELY BLUES TEAM REVEALED: https://t.co/979s4DGxfP pic.twitter.com/6MyMxE8lRq
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) May 20, 2023
“The Cronulla Sharks star has been selected in Brad Fittler’s Blues side for Origin I on May 31.
“Capable of playing fullback, five-eighth or halfback, Hynes is tipped to wear the Blues No.14 jersey.
“Penrith’s Jarome Luai is expected to retain the NSW no.6 jersey after a month of quality football alongside Blues halfback Nathan Cleary.”
This news should not come as a shock as it was likely that both players would be selected for the squad; however, Luai retaining his starting role will certainly surprise many.
Origin one will likely be Luai’s chance to prove that even though his club form has been inconsistent he can still step up on the representative stage and therefore move higher up in the hierarchy of the New South Wales squad into a position where he earns Origin selection no matter how he is playing for Penrith.
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