He’s ruled Concord for a month, now Aaron Woods is ready to lead the state.
That is the belief of Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor, who backed calls from retiring NSW State of Origin skipper Paul Gallen for Woods to succeed him at the end of this year’s interstate series.
Woods was nominated, along with teammate Robbie Farah, by Gallen earlier this week.
“I hadn’t thought about that before, but yeah, I think the way he’s taken this in his stride, I’m sure he could do that,” Taylor said.
The third-year Tigers mentor said Woods had exceeded expectations in his four games since sensationally taking over as captain from Farah over the summer.
“He’s really done it well, better than I thought he may in some areas, to be honest,” Taylor said.
“It hasn’t changed him in any way, but the way that he’s prepared to spend time with the guys and the way he cares about his teammates.
“Some of the stuff that he talks about in regards to the conversations that he has with them, not all about on-field stuff, but just because he cares about them as people, it’s been really impressive.”
Gallen earlier this week anointed Farah or Woods as his successor after announcing he would retire from Origin football at the end of the upcoming series.
“The obvious one’s probably Robbie Farah, he’s stepped in for the couple of games I’ve missed over the past few years,” he said.
“He’s a good option straight away, but he’s in his thirties as well, so you’ve probably got to look for someone who is younger. The only other one that comes to mind at the moment is Aaron Woods.”
Woods, the reigning Dally M Prop of the Year, has played eight games for NSW since debuting in 2013, and scored the series-changing try in the Blues’ breakthrough series win the following year.
He has also represented the Kangaroos five times.