NSW great Steve Mortimer believes Adam Reynolds has to be installed as halfback for this season’s State of Origin series if the Blues are to wrest back State of Origin supremacy.
Mortimer captained NSW to their first ever Origin series win in 1985 and the former Canterbury premiership winner says South Sydney No.7 Reynolds has to pull the strings for the Blues this season, with Trent Hodkinson making way.
Reynolds returned from five weeks out with a jaw injury in the Rabbitohs’ heavy loss to North Queensland last week, but Mortimer says he has enough time to find form ahead of the Origin opener in Sydney on June 1.
“I am a big fan of Adam Reynolds and I would like to see him there,” Mortimer told AAP.
“I like his kicking game, he is a little fellow, people say he is too small but that isn’t the case.
“He looks where the numbers are on the field, that’s the most important thing. A No. 7 should look for the numbers on the field – there are five there and three there, go for it – and that is what Reynolds does,”
Newcastle halfback Hodkinson scored the decisive try in NSW’s series win in 2014, but failed to replicate that form last season.
“I think Trent Hodkinson has done a terrific job. He is a great bloke and has a good attitude but he is not a threat to the defensive line, Adam Reynolds is,” Mortimer said.
Mortimer nominated Josh Reynolds, James Maloney, Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin as players who could join Reynolds in a new-look Blues halves combination.
“We are looking pretty healthy there, it is up to Loz (coach Laurie Daley) to put them in there and make it work,” he said.
“Whoever they pick I will be right behind them.”