NSW selectors look set to name in-form Jarryd Hayne as fullback for the State of Origin opener ahead of Josh Dugan.
Jarryd Hayne’s scintillating recent form has secured his spot as the NSW fullback for next week’s State of Origin opener in Brisbane.
Hayne has been outstanding for a rejuvenated Parramatta this season, scoring six tries in his last four games and Blues coach Laurie Daley is set to resist the temptation to name him in the centres when he names his side on Tuesday with Josh Dugan losing the No.1 shirt he wore in games two and three last year.
“I think Jarryd’s shown everyone what he’s capable of doing he’s playing in really good form and fullback is his best position,” Daley told AAP.
“At this stage, if everyone is right then I expect Jarryd to be fullback.”
Dugan assumed the Blues No.1 jumper for games two and three last year after Hayne succumbed to a hamstring injury.
Hayne’s recent performances have been up there with his displays in the second half of the 2009 season when he inspired the Eels to the grand final and claimed the Dally M Medal.
The Blues are looking to win their first series in nine years and the build up to game one has been plagued with injuries and suspensions to key players.
This has been in addition to the disruption created by the spat between Daley and high-profile media identity Ray Hadley.
Daley said the furore caused by the relationship between his assistant coach Matt Parish and Hadley’s estranged wife has been put behind them, and the mood around the camp lifted by how well Hayne is playing,
“It’s been a difficult week but one we have put behind us and we are moving forward,” he said,
“Jarryd’s playing outstanding football which is great for us and gives all of us real confidence.
“That’s been real good, we just need to make sure everyone else does their job.
Daley and his selectors will on Monday evening finalise their side for the May 28 series opener at Suncorp Stadium.
Top of the agenda will be the decision on whether James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce will keep their spots as the halves pairing.