NSW selector, Greg Alexander, has confirmed that James Maloney and Nathan Cleary are still keeping their Blues shirts for Origin I.
Days before going to the selection board with coach Brad Fittler, and fellow assistants Danny Buderus and Craig Fitzgibbon, Alexander has compiled a column for Players Voice detailing the process of the next few days, and why it is difficult to change winning team.
In acknowledging competitive halves, Luke Keary, Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker halve the competition forms, Alexander said the selectors need to weigh up whether the players who have done the job are The front can do it again – no matter what the club form.
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“Penrith has lost six consecutive games, but, individually, Maloney and Cleary do not go as bad as many people think,” he wrote.
With the team, the Panthers aren't going great and the battles that the two are getting are a by-product of how the team is playing. generally. They haven't been getting a lot of support from the players from their scope.
“Neither one has forgotten how to play. The effort is still there. They make it difficult, but they're trying it.
“They are still quality players. In the right circumstances, they could perform and have an effect. But Keary and the other guys have a lot of heat for their jobs. ”
There is only one round left for players to press their case for selection, and with Maloney sitting out this week by suspension, Alexander and the instructors have enough to consider.
He said that they will be on the phone regularly through the week before sitting down to choose the final team on Sunday night.
“The question that we, as selectors, have to ask ourselves, when it comes to situations like this is: Are we more likely to win with someone else?” Said Alexander.
“I think that if Maloney and Cleary were chosen for NSW they would naturally recover from being surrounded by so many other, representative class players.
“But would they improve as much as you'd like to do before the first Origin game? Or would they come from too far back and represent a risk? Considering this and everything else in mind, is the other guys pushing about their play areas too good to be denied?
“It's going to take things out.”
The package is largely in shape, but one of the other most selective issues is the James Roberts center site.
The Broncos star has been dropped from the NRL side for the last few weeks and hasn't been playing a backup grade, putting a risk to his Blues shirt.
Since then, Jack Bird, his most logical displacement, has been eliminated by a knee injury that ends during the season, which means that the selectors could remember ex-star t Origin to fill the gap.
“Jack Bird had his nose in front of him before he went down to injure him and there aren't many other people to choose from, so it was nice when we heard that Josh Morris had made it available. ”Said Alexander.
“We hadn't discussed Morris because he was essentially retired from football, but he's in the mix now.” T