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Moses' Origin hopes fading fast as NSW halves contenders begin to emerge


NSW Blues coach Michael Maguire will face a tough selection choice for Game I as the Parramatta Eels delay the return of star halfback Mitch Moses.

Moses suffered a foot fracture in Round 3 and was eyeing off a potential Magic Round return but Parramatta opted to take a cautious approach with the 29-year-old.

Moses, who was the halfback for Game II and III for NSW in the 2023 State of Origin series, now has just one match to prove his fitness to Maguire and possibly earn an Origin call-up.

“There was high optimism going into last weekend that Mitch Moses would be back this weekend to play in Magic Round,” The Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio told SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“However, he attempted to run yesterday and he was only kept to light duties.

“He’s only done straight line running and he’s still training in joggers.

"He is still yet to put the boots on.

“He may be able to get on the park next week but the issue with that is that it’s only 80 minutes to show Michale Maguire what he’s got.

“It’s really cutting the decision fine for Maguire and it would be a roll of the dice to pick Moses after 9-10 weeks out.

“With only one match back, it’d be a huge call.”

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The hamstring injury to Nathan Cleary as well as the vacant five-eighth position has thrown the door wide open for a number of players to earn a NSW jersey.

Riccio believes Maguire will go back to players who have represented NSW in the past.

“There will be no Jack Wighton, no Nathan Cleary and no Cody Walker who is struggling in that South Sydney side,” Riccio added.

“There is a discussion around Jarome Luai who has been there and played there before.

“He is currently running this Panthers side.

“Nicho Hynes is the obvious other discussion point. Should he play well against the Roosters, that would put him in the box seat to being a part of this Origin line-up."

Game I will be held at Accor Stadium in Sydney on June 5.

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