Souths coach Michael Maguire says 19-year-old centre Dylan Walker is ready to replace Josh Morris in the NSW side if called upon by coach Laurie Daley.
South Sydney coach Michael Maguire urged NSW mentor Laurie Daley to consider Dylan Walker as a replacement for the injured Josh Morris for Origin II after another impressive effort from the teenager in the Rabbitohs 29-10 win over the Dragons on Monday.
Walker’s quick-stepping has proven almost impossible to stop close to the line at times this year and the 19-year-old City representative continued that in the round 12 victory at ANZ Stadium when he scored the match-sealing try.
With Daley on the lookout for a new right centre for the return State of Origin fixture on June 18, Maguire said Walker could fit the bill against Queensland’s lethal left side attack, despite enjoying just his second season in the NRL.
“He has definitely improved as a kid from the start of the season to where he is now, there has been enormous improvement,” Maguire said.
“I know he would do a good job if he had the opportunity; it is just a matter of getting that chance.
“He is definitely going to be a future centre in that arena without a doubt the way he his playing.
“I’m sure if they game him the chance he would take it.”
Souths captain John Sutton backed up his coach’s call.
“I think Dyl has been one of our best this season; he has come a long way in a short amount of time and I think if he got his chance he would do very well,” Sutton said.
“He has got the speed, he defends really well, he is good with the ball.”
With Josh and twin brother Brett out of the NSW side for Origin II, much of Daley’s focus has come on finding adequate replacements to deal with the threat posed by Greg Inglis and Darius Boyd.
Will Hopoate is another centre prospect, while there is talk back-rower Beau Scott could play there to beef up the Blues defence.
Josh Dugan played right centre for the Dragons against the Rabbitohs in his first outing there since his junior days.
He didn’t excel in the position but struggled for good ball outside Benji Marshall and a well beaten Dragons pack.
“I’m honestly not thinking about the Blues at the moment, if the chance came I would take it but my focus at the moment is on the Dragons,” Dugan said.