NSW coach Laurie Daley is considering playing Jarryd Hayne in the centres for this year’s State of Origin series.
NSW coach Laurie Daley has revealed Jarryd Hayne could start this year’s State of Origin series in the centres following his success there at the Rugby League World Cup.
Hayne starred for the Kangaroos in their 34-2 win over New Zealand at Old Trafford in November, keeping Michael Jennings and Josh Morris – the incumbent Blues centres – out of the side.
The Parramatta star is the most-capped player in the NSW squad, with 17 Origin appearances to his name and was a stand-out performer at fullback in game one last year as Daley’s men won 14-6.
However, a hamstring injury kept him out of the remainder of the series as Queensland won 2-1 to secure an unprecedented eighth-straight success.
Since making his debut in 2007, Hayne has played mostly on the wing or at fullback.
But Daley said the 26-year-old’s days of playing out wide are behind him and he’d either be using him at fullback or in the centres this year.
“I haven’t made my mind up, it will depend where everyone is at with injuries,” Daley said, at the team’s new training base at Coffs Harbour, in northern NSW on Tuesday.
“Jarryd will be in the team. He’s great to have because he’s so versatile, but I think you’ll be looking at centre rather than on the wing.
“I think he’s outgrown wing at this level now and it worthy of a more senior role in the team.”
“I think with Jarryd, he can play most positions, and play well.
“He and Brett Morris played on the right side of the field in that (World Cup) final.”
The Blues will be based at Coffs Harbour for games one and three in this year’s series and Daley feels it will be a key factor in ending Queensland’s dominance.
NSW have used the Sydney beachside suburb of Coogee for past series, but Daley said the facilities at the Pacific Bay Resort complex are the perfect setting for his side’s preparations.
The Wallabies used the resort for more than a decade – it was their home for the 2003 Rugby World Cup campaign – and it is frequently used by teams from the AFL and NRL for pre-season training.
It contains a secluded training oval that is not open to the public which is next to an ice-bath machine room, video meeting rooms and massage and physiotherapist facilities.
Daley will also name his team on the Tuesday, instead of the Sunday as in previous years, with the team assembling in Sydney and flying to the northern NSW town on the Wednesday afternoon.
“We wanted to go away and it was going to be too hard for the players to get together at the same time if we picked the team on a Sunday, then some play on a Monday,” he explained.
“By having it like this we can focus on the game and have no distractions.
“For us it’ll give us the best chance to play well and if you prepare well you give yourselves the best chance to win. The facilities are first class.”