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Why Hynes should return to Blues for shot at redemption


Cronulla Sharks skipper Nicho Hynes has to get his shot at State of Origin redemption after leading his side to the top of the NRL ladder, according to his former teammate and Queensland Maroons great Cameron Smith.

Hynes, who missed last week’s win over the Melbourne Storm with a calf injury, could be in line for a New South Wales Blues return after playing just 12 minutes in his debut in the series opener last year in Adelaide.

His chances of a call up have increased significantly with Nathan Cleary ruled out with a hamstring injury, Mitchell Moses spending the past six weeks on the sidelines while Cody Walker and South Sydney have struggled for form.

After impressive performances throughout the first 10 weeks helping lead Sharks to top spot, Smith said Hynes would have to be in the Blues team.

“I think you have to pick Nicho Hynes, I think you have to,” he said on SENQ Breakfast.

“I think he’ll be No.7 and even if, there’s a lot of talk around Mitch Moses, saying well he’s been there before and done a pretty good job - he has been out for about six weeks with a fractured foot.

“I’ve heard a few whispers that he could be back this week so that gives him this week and next week before the Origin sides are picked. Is that long enough preparation?

“He’s a professional guy, he’ll be ready to go. If he comes out and plays two solid games I think he’s a chance to get that No.7 spot and if that happens… I think you (still) have to have Nicho Hynes there, you just have to.

“He’s playing consistent enough football, he’s helped get his team on top of the competition, that’s got to count for something.”

Smith said the only thing working against Hynes was that he was relatively “untried” at Origin level.

“We’ve seen in the past you’ve seen some really really good players at NRL level just unable to make that next step up. It’s a different game,” he said.

“I think Nicho Hynes will be there, whether he’s wearing the seven or six and its just a matter of who partners him.”

This year’s Origin series will kick-off at Accor Stadium on June 5.

Cronulla Sharks Rugby League

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