Mitchell Pearce is not at his State of Origin best, his Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson says.
Pearce starred in the Roosters’ round nine thumping of Newcastle in his return from suspension, but has struggled to replicate that form in the two NRL rounds since.
The incumbent NSW playmaker was one of the Roosters’ best in their 32-20 loss to Canterbury on Sunday but Robinson said Pearce has some improving to do.
“I don’t think there was any Origin at all in that,” Robinson said in the post-match press conference.
“I thought Mitchell tried hard, I thought he was the one that kept on the ball and kept pushing us around tried to spark something.
“I still think he is finding his best but I thought he played a lot of football today.”
Cronulla’s James Maloney, who played alongside Pearce for NSW in the 2013 interstate series, and South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds are the favourites to be named in coach Laurie Daley’s Blues halves when the side for game one is named on Monday.
The Roosters will likely lose Boyd Cordner and Blake Ferguson to Blues duties and Aidan Guerra to Queensland.
“To be honest I couldn’t care less about the Origin team,” Robinson said.
“The guys that will get in will work hard and they can sort that out. I have other issues to sort out other than Origin.”