Robbie Farah’s recovery from a broken hand is running ahead of schedule after the NSW hooker took part in the Blues’ training session at their Coffs Harbour base on Saturday.
Farah trained with the Blues squad for the first time since having surgery on Tuesday. The Wests Tigers skipper suffered the injury in the loss to Penrith last Sunday.
It was Farah’s first session with the Blues ahead of State of Origin III.
The injured Blues rake participated in a ballwork session with his teammates but did not take part in the contact session scheduled for the second part of the day.
Farah’s back-up Mick Ennis also trained.
Farah remains a 50/50 proposition to take his place in the Blues side at Suncorp Stadium for the Origin decider on Wednesday. But NSW are becoming increasingly upbeat about his chances, including Blues prop Aaron Woods.
“I hope it plays, I would love to see it,” Farah’s Tigers teammate said.
“All the hard work he has done for it, he deserves it.
“At the end of the day he will make the decision that is right for the team and that is up to Robbie.
“I know Robbie really well, and the way he looks after his body, the amount of physio he does, and all the stuff he has done to get the hand right,he will give himself every chance to play.
“That’s Robbie and if anyone can do it, he can.”
Ennis trained at dummy half for the majority of the brief period media were allowed to view, in a group that contained Blues halves Mitchell Pearce and Trent Hodkinson.
Farah was sporting a small bandage on his right hand. He was able to grip the ball and pass easily but he spent his time in a separate group from Ennis, primarily slotting in at first receiver. However such involvement from Farah was not initially expected to occur until Sunday.
Farah flew to Coffs Harbour on Wednesday night, but didn’t train with the Blues on Thursday. The team had a day off on Friday.
Ennis will step in if Farah is unavailable with a decision likely to be made by coach Laurie Daley on Tuesday.
Farah’s loss will be a blow, but Blues forward Beau Scott is confident Ennis can step up if required with minimum fuss.
“Mick has been here before, he knows what it is all about, we will not be taking a backward step with Mick,” Scott said.
“We have trained with Mick, he knows the plays now and he knows his role within the team.
“We are not losing anything by playing Mick if that is what happens. He has jumped straight into the role, he has picked it all up easily.”
Alex McKinnon was a special guest of the Blues at Saturday’s session.