NRL news 2023 | Calls for Nicho Hynes to be NSW Blues five-eighth, Paul Gallen comments


Former NSW Blues captain Paul Gallen has made a huge call on the side’s line-up for the 2023 State of Origin series, putting his full support behind a push for Nicho Hynes to appear in the starting side.

With NSW losing the last series, and Hynes winning the Dally M Medal last year, many have formed the opinion Hynes should replace Jarome Luai in the halves. 

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Speaking on 2GB’s Continuous Call Team ahead of the Penrith clash with Newcastle on Saturday, Gallen said that’s the one big change he’d make in the Blues side.

“We’ve still got so much football to run … picking a team today I would pick Nicho Hynes, I think he’s done enough to deserve to get picked,” he said.

“Looking at last year’s series, we had a lot of Penrith players, a lot of Penrith flavour, every single one of them deserved to be picked but I felt we tried to play a little bit like Penrith – but it’s not NRL, it’s Origin.

“I think Nicho would revel in that environment, I would do that at the moment but as I said, there’s so much footy to be played.”

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Gallen’s huge call comes as Hynes’ return to the Sharks coincides with a much improved team performance after a slow start without their $7m man.

To go with the former Blues captain’s comments, Hynes also revealed in the Sydney Morning Herald his desire to partner Nathan Cleary in the halves.

Legends full of praise for bumper Hynes deal

“I’d love to play five-eighth for NSW,” he said.

“I think I’m a traditional No.6 – he [Cleary] likes to play on ball, I like to be on that second or third layer with a good halfback.

“If Nathan is controlling the game, I can pop up where I’m needed and try to manipulate defensive lines.

“I feel like my strengths are icing a three-on-two, or my running game, so if he can put me in positions to get my running game on, I feel like we’d work well together.

“I’d love to play five-eighth for NSW. Jarome is the incumbent, he’s been there and done it. If Freddy [coach Brad Fittler] went with him, I’d understand. But I’ll definitely put my hand up to play Origin – and I’ll be going for it.

“At the [very] least, I’d like to be on the bench or in the squad, but I’d love to wear the No.6.”

Further to Hynes’ Origin declaration, the Cronulla halfback revealed his dislike for the northern state. 

“I hate Queensland; Queensland is the only thing I hate in life when Origin time is on,” he said.

“It’s a good state for its beaches, but at Origin time I hate it.”

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