NSW veteran Greg Bird has nominated namesake Jack Bird as an unlikely option to replace injured halfback Adam Reynolds for State of Origin III.
Blues coach Laurie Daley all but ruled Reynolds out of game three in Sydney after the South Sydney star came off with a serious shoulder injury late in the 26-16 game two defeat on Wednesday.
Reynolds will undergo MRI scans when he returns from Brisbane on Thursday.
“Early report’s not looking great. I don’t think he’ll be right for game three,” Daley said.
Cronulla utility Bird played the remainder of the match in the halves, and Gold Coast veteran Greg threw up the debutant as a possible answer to the Blues’ attacking woes.
“He’s every chance, with the injury that ‘Reyno’ picked up, of maybe slipping into a starting five-eighth role. That’s exactly what I did (early in my Origin career),” Greg said.
“He plays with intensity, plays off the cuff, and plays what’s in front of him.
“That’s the sort of footballer you need in State of Origin because we’ve seen that the players that play what’s in front of them are the ones that capitalise on opportunities.”
Other players that could come into contention in the halves include former Blues representatives Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds, while Daley could opt for new blood in Blake Austin or Aidan Sezer.
Troubled Sydney Roosters No.7 Mitchell Pearce could also get a recall.
After staying with the Maroons for most of the match, Greg hoped the majority of the team would be given the opportunity of closing out the series back at ANZ Stadium on July 13.
He said sending out retiring skipper Paul Gallen would be added motivation.
“We’ve put a lot of work in together and hopefully we can go down there and just turn those opportunities that we created into points,” he said.