NSW fullback Jarryd Hayne believes Will Hopoate’s form is good enough for a starting role in the Blues side for State of Origin game two.
Hayne continued his sizzling form with another masterful display for Parramatta in Friday’s 18-16 win over North Queensland with Hopoate enjoying a solid performance for the Eels in defence and showing glimpses of class in attack.
Blues coach Laurie Daley will name his side for the June 18 showdown on Tuesday and must decide on replacements for injured twins Josh and Brett Morris.
“I thought he did really well tonight and I think it will be really interesting where the selectors go with the right centre and right wing spot,” Hayne said.
“I think he’s probably been up there with the best centres in the game this year and it’s credit to him. If he doesn’t get it this time he will in the future.”
The former Manly back was 19th man for the Blues in game one but endured a torrid night against Penrith the week before with six tries scored by the Panthers on his side of the field.
But Eels coach Brad Arthur said there were mitigating circumstances behind that display and was pleased with how he responded against the Cowboys.
“Hoppa’s preparation wasn’t great last week, he didn’t train with us until the captain’s run,” Arthur said.
“He was on a 6am flight out of Brisbane and trained with us for about 15 minutes. He’s been back to his usual preparation this week and that has been the difference.
“It’s a big ask for a young boy that’s been out of the game for a couple of years and take him away from his usual routine.”