Arguably the biggest talking point during State of Origin is who will be the New South Wales halfback.
For many years now the Blues have given a number of halfbacks opportunities at wearing the “cockroaches” number seven jersey with varying results.
Today we rank the top five halfbacks from New South Wales and how deserving they are of being picked for Origin at this point in time.
5. LUKE BROOKS
Luke Brooks is by far one of the game’s more underrated players largely due to his team’s overall performance the past few seasons.
However as an individual the 25-year-old has come into his own the past two years, winning the 2018 Dally M Halfback of the Year honour and continued that form into 2019.
Unfortunately for Luke Brooks, he has hit his stride during a time where New South Wales has been blessed with great halfbacks which means if he is to wear a Blues jersey he may have to take his team to greater on field success.
4. MITCHELL PEARCE
Mitchell Pearce is the current New Souths Wales halfback, replacing an injured Nathan Cleary in game III to secure the shield for the Blues.
While he was solid, the Knights captain didn’t exactly have the masses screaming for him to return to the role in 2020, especially considering his poor record in the State of Origin arena.
He has played relatively well for the Knights since joining in 2018 and proved a suitable fill in for Nathan Cleary in game III last year but it’s time for him to step aside.
3. MITCHELL MOSES
Mitchell Moses ended 2019 in career best form, winning the Dally M Halfback of the Year award and leading the Eels to the second week of the finals series.
If he can sustain this form in 2020 he will likely be selected to play for New South Wales, with his only setback being that he is untested in big game situations.
2. ADAM REYNOLDS
For much of 2019 Adam Reynolds was the NRL’s in form halfback and was close to an Origin selection before succumbing to injury.
If he can remain fit and continue to prove an exceptional game controller, then the Rabbitohs captain will be a top contender for the Blues number seven jersey later this year.
1. NATHAN CLEARY
Nathan Cleary is a two time Origin winning halfback at just 22 years of age and has been unfairly ridiculed for his effort in Origin games, especially considering he was playing the role of the secondary half in those games.
State of Origin is heavily based on defence and Cleary has proven one of the only halfbacks in the NRL with a strong defensive game.
If given the opportunity he can further prove himself in attack by leaving the Queensland defence guessing themselves with his emasculate running game.
He should be the New South Wales halfback for the next decade if he is fit and his play style remains the same.