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Halfback Hynes confident on calf for NSW Origin return

3 minute read

NSW coach Michael Maguire has rejected any concerns over Nicho Hynes' fitness, adamant the halfback will not miss any training ahead of State of Origin I.

MICHAEL MAGUIRE. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Nicho Hynes has declared his lingering calf trouble should pose no problems for State of Origin I.

Two days after failing to get through Cronulla's 42-0 loss to Penrith on Saturday night, Hynes walked freely into the team hotel on Monday as the state's new No.7.

Blues officials are confident the 27-year-old will be able to train from their first full session on Wednesday, in a team full of new combinations and with 11 changes.

Hynes is also bullish about his prospects, after scans showed no further damage out of Saturday night's game.

"It's great news. It was a bit of a worry there once it cooled down (in the) middle of the game on the weekend," Hynes said.

"The scans have shown us some good signs.

"I'll be doing what I can next couple of days to make sure I get on the field and prepare the best I can ... to make sure I can do a job for this team."

If the playmaker was to break down, it is likely Luke Keary would be the man to come into the halves after initially being named as 19th man for the Blues.

Hynes played only 12 minutes off the bench on debut last year, and admitted a missed tackle in the centres and subsequent Blues axing rattled him.

"I learned plenty of lessons (from that Origin debut). I've matured as a player and as a person," Hynes said.

"I'm in a better spot than I was last year - physically, mentally, and as a footballer.

"(I'm) excited to get in and get amongst the team, (to) sit down with the spine and see how we're going to play."

NSW coach Michael Maguire is equally convinced that Hynes is primed for action.

"He's ready to go," Maguire said.

"I'm really super-confident with how Nicho's been.

"Listening to the conversations of what he's had to face over his career and what he's learnt, I'm looking forward to how he comes into camp because he's a leader."

Hynes is only one half of the Blues' redemption story, with Jarome Luai also back in camp after being axed following game two last year.

"I have earned my spot here," Luai said.

"I know I have to play good to keep that spot ... I'm ready to rock and bring that (confidence) into camp, and to game day as well."

NSW received further good news on Monday, with scans also clearing Liam Martin of a hamstring injury.

"It feels sweet, it's good to go," the Penrith second-rower said on arrival at the hotel.

Maguire began the week by clutching at a NSW jersey while defending his decision to go with form over legacy in several positions.

He went with a gut feel that Dylan Edwards was ready for a shot at Origin, and said there was no discussion with James Tedesco on whether his NSW career was over.

The Blues coach labelled Zac Lomax as one of the form players of the competition in his unwanted position of wing, and said he had no issue picking rugby-bound centre Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii.

Maguire said hooker Reece Robson was picked over Apisai Koroisau based on his qualities in defence and attack, while describing new captain Jake Trbojevic as a man who typifies the entire state.

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