Laurie Daley has no fears of NSW hooker Robbie Farah carrying mental baggage from his ongoing stand-off with Jason Taylor into next year’s NSW Origin camp.
Farah appears increasingly likely to remain at the Wests Tigers next NRL season, despite being asked to leave by the club.
The veteran rake was told it was best that he moved on and said he had been told by coach Taylor he would be relegated to reserve grade should he remain at Concord.
The writing appeared to be on the wall for Farah after the club signed Manly veteran Matt Ballin on a two-year deal last month.
Farah has always maintained that he wanted to remain a one-club player and his options appear to be closing fast.
Newcastle coach Nathan Brown has ruled out making a play for Farah’s services and St George Illawarra are reportedly in talks with former Canberra and Sydney Roosters back-up rake Matt McIlwrick, which would leave little room on their roster for another hooker.
Even Taylor himself, who earlier this year repeatedly publicly encouraged Farah to find a new home, said he was now getting on with the job and working productively alongside the 31-year-old.
It appears the schism will continue well into 2016 and could prove an unwanted distraction for Farah ahead of the representative season.
Farah will be a key plank of Blues coach Daley’s team in 2016 after they relinquished the Origin shield to Queensland this year, and will need him fully focused come Origin I at ANZ Stadium on June 1.
Daley said that after sitting down with Farah last week, he was confident he had his mind on the job and wouldn’t be scarred by the saga.
“I know Robbie’s training extremely hard and I’m pretty confident that will sort itself out,” Daley said.
“He’s an important member of our team and has been over the last couple of years. But that’s for the Wests Tigers to work out that situation.
“All reports are it’s going fantastically well in the off-season and they’re all training really well and getting on well.”