Jack Bird could be a step closer to a State of Origin jersey after it was revealed NSW coach Laurie Daley called captain Paul Gallen to ask about the youngster.
Bird was again dominant in Cronulla’s last-gasp win over Canterbury on Monday night, and support is growing behind his inclusion as a possible X-factor for the Blues’ must-win clash with Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.
“Before this camp the only person he has ever rung me about is Jack Bird,” Gallen told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.
“He asked me if he was a good kid and I said yes because I really like Birdy, but I have no input in the selection whatsoever.”
However, while Gallen backed Bird’s ability if he were selected, he suggested it would be hard to find room for him in the NSW side that was beaten last Wednesday.
He also confirmed the Blues’ were unlikely to change their controversial tactic of having a Dylan Walker-like player coming off the bench for only the final encounters of the match.
“Poor Dylan Walker has copped criticism because of his game but that’s all Jack Bird would play as well,” Gallen said.
“Whoever plays that fourth spot on the bench is only going to get a maximum of 15-20 minutes in the game.
“If poor Jack Bird gets that spot and is thrown on in the last 10 minutes again he is going to cop criticism.”