Josh Jackson is one of the players NSW need to build their State of Origin future around, says the Canterbury star’s NRL coach Des Hasler.
Jackson claimed the Blues players’ player award following Queensland’s series clinching 26-16 win at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.
It followed another impressive effort from Jackson in the series opener in his second year as a NSW player.
Queensland have claimed their 10th series win in 11 years and with Paul Gallen retiring and players such as Greg Bird and Robbie Farah set to be moved on, Hasler insists Jackson shapes as a key figure for the Blues.
“I thought he was great the other night,” said Hasler, who played 12 matches for the Blues.
“I know it is a stage that Jacko has been working really hard towards and I didn’t think he looked out of place at all, he was really at home.
“If he can continue to play like that, and he is the type of player that players love to play with, you would expect him to be in that Origin side for a long time and … the tide will turn.”
Back-rower Jackson has looked a good fit on the Blues right side. However he could move to lock next year to take the place of Gallen and Bird.
The 25-year-old Jackson and fellow second-rower Boyd Cordner can give the Blues some continuity.
That is something they have sorely missed in recent years and it is something that has been a key ingredient in the Maroons’ incredible success.
Cordner missed game two and will miss game three due to a toe injury, after picking up the NSW players’ player award in the series opening 6-4 loss.
Hasler said both Jackson and fellow NSW forward David Klemmer would back up from Origin II to play Brisbane at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night in the 16th round of the NRL.