NSW’s most successful State of Origin coach Phil Gould believes Paul Gallen shouldn’t be selected in the Blues side for game two, even if he is 100 per cent fit.
Gallen made a successful return from a hip/glute injury in Cronulla’s upset win over Sydney Roosters on Sunday, after an eight week spell on the sidelines that included NSW’s loss in Origin I last month.
The Sharks’ skipper is a certainty to be named Blues captain for Origin II at the MCG on June 17, when coach Laurie Daley names his side early Tuesday morning.
But Gould, who coached NSW to a record six Origin series wins, said on Channel Nine’s commentary of Gallen’s comeback NRL game that he hasn’t earnt his place in the Blues side for the do-or-die encounter.
“I don’t understand this desperation to rush Paul Gallen back,” Gould said.
“He hasn’t played for a while, he isn’t match fit.”
Gould then inferred Gallen’s time as a NSW player was over.
“He has done his job for NSW, he has done his job,” Gould said.
Prior to Origin I, Gould pushed for Daley to focus on youth in his selection policy, claiming NSW had the opportunity to record a number of interstate series wins back-to-back against an ageing Queensland side.
Ryan Hoffman, 31, alongside Gallen, 33, one of the Blues’ elder statesmen, is another Gould believes has had his time as a NSW representative.
Gould, a two-time first grade premiership-winning coach led NSW to Origin series wins in 1992-94, 1996, 2003 and 2004. He earned the Blues a drawn series in 2002.
His only series loss was to Paul Vautin’s side in 1995.