Ryan Hoffman says NSW debutants Josh Jackson and David Klemmer are ready to fill the shoes of `Bash Brothers’ Paul Gallen and Greg Bird and does not expect them to miss a beat at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs pair have been called into the Blues line up for Gallen (hip) and Bird (suspension) for the first game of NSW’s Origin shield defence.
As the Blues wrapped up their training camp at Coffs Harbour on Sunday, Hoffman nominated the two debutants as being among the most impressive.
“Josh Jackson has got a very, very simple role but you know he’s going to do that role well,” Hoffman said.
“That’s what we require. All the new guys have impressed me. I guess that’s the benefit of having kids who are debuting who are really confident in their abilities. They just come into this Origin scenario and they know they’ve got what it takes.
“It’s all about putting it all on the field and `Klem’ is the same.
“He’s running hard in training, just as I’m sure he’s going to be running hard on Wednesday night and that’s what we want to see.”
After completing a training run at their Coffs Harbours base on Sunday, the team will fly to Sydney in the afternoon as they ramp up preparations for Origin I.
While Queensland has had to deal with several headaches, including question marks over the fitness of Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Justin Hodges and the withdrawal of Daly Cherry-Evans, it has been smooth sailing for the Blues at Camp Coffs.
The team has had an almost ideal preparation for Game I so far with few hiccups and the laid-back coastal city providing a settled backdrop and few interruptions.
“We’re confident in what we’ve done and we’ve put the right steps in place,” Hoffman said.
“We have two more sessions including today’s session to put that final polish on and we’ll keep on building.
“We’re not trying to be perfect today, we just want to make sure we’ll be perfect on Wednesday night.”