NSW great Andrew Johns has urged Blues coach Laurie Daley to seriously consider playing Jarryd Hayne at five-eighth to give the Blues more punch and creativity in attack.
With Daley resigned to being without hooker Robbie Farah for the State of Origin opener in Brisbane on May 28 due to an elbow injury, Johns said superstar Parramatta fullback Hayne could add an X-factor for NSW at pivot.
Johns acknowledged such a move would leave likely halfback Mitchell Pearce to take on added responsibility in controlling proceedings, but felt Hayne needs to be more involved.
“He’s up to it defensively and that way he’s in the game all the time,” Johns said on Channel Nine’s Footy Show on Sunday .
The Tigers confirmed on Sunday Farah is likely to miss six weeks after dislocating his elbow in Saturday’s 16-4 win over North Queensland at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
That time frame would leave Farah without a game before the Origin opener.
Canterbury captain Michael Ennis, Newcastle hooker and NSW stalwart Kurt Gidley and in-form Parramatta rake Nathan Peats are all contenders to take Farah’s place in sky blue.
Farah’s injury continues a cursed run with injuries for Daley so far this season.
Blues captain Paul Gallen has been another injury concern after injuring his ankle in Cronulla’s round one loss to Gold Coast.
The Sharks skipper is expected to return in round eight.
NSW’s five-eighth spot has become the source of much contention with Daley challenging incumbent Sydney Roosters premiership winning pivot James Maloney to lift his game.
Josh Reynolds looks to have the inside running for the Blues No.6 jersey with Sharks playmaker Todd Carney another possibility.