NSW team may change for Origin II
RECALLED workhorse Nathan Hindmarsh has hinted that there may be some tweaking to the NSW 17 in the lead-up to State of Origin II at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane next Wednesday night.
The Parramatta great is one of three back-rowers recalled to add starch to the squad that lost to Queensland in the opening game.
Hindmarsh (16 Origin games) has been named on the bench alongside Cowboy Luke O’Donnell (four) with Shark Paul Gallen (eight) named to start at lock.
Hindmarsh is an 80-minute player – his value from the bench almost redundant in a game that demands high impact from the 14, 15, 16 and 17, which led to the question: Will Hindmarsh start the match?
“Not that I know of, not sure at this stage,” he said.
“We haven’t really sorted out the back-row yet. Myself and Gal and Luke, we are all swapping roles at the moment, so wait and see.”
But with more than 270 first- grade games and 20 Tests for Australia, there won’t be much variation on the output that Hindmarsh is so used to churning out.
“Either way I think I’ll just do what I do for Parramatta every week,” he said. “Tackle as much as I can and support the big boys.”
And those big boys, the NSW props, all three of them if you include Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, will need support against the Maroon battery of Ban Hannant, Matt Scott, David Shillington and Dave Taylor.
“That is an imposing list of big fellas but we have the cattle to do the job,” Hindmarsh said.
“Playing middle back-rower (lock) isn’t much different to front-row these days anyway. Whoever gets asked will do the job.”
For the first time since 2007 Hindmarsh will take the field in the sky blue next Wednesday night.
Last time he ran out, alongside him was Parramatta team-mate Jarryd Hayne.
This time, Hayne will run on to enemy territory with a target on his back after his run-in with now-arch-rival Billy Slater.
And like the rest of the rugby league world, Hindmarsh can’t wait to see how that battle unfolds.