Kangaroos and Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens says NSW must bite the bullet and pick in-form Tigers hooker Robbie Farah for State of Origin I.
Farah, who starred for City in Sunday’s win over Country, is believed to be behind veteran Newcastle rake Danny Buderus for the hooking role ahead of the Melbourne clash on May 23.
But Sheens says the time has come for Blues coach Ricky Stuart and his selectors to make the hard decision to overlook Buderus and pick Farah, who played two Origins in 2009, with a view to the future.
“He should be playing for NSW without a doubt,” Sheens said on Thursday.
"I think NSW has to work hard at what they’re doing down the track and I can’t see a 34-year-old Danny Buderus there next year, if he is there this year.
"I think they’ve got to come up and be consistent.
“I thought that was Ricky’s idea last year, was to come up with a spine and stick with it.”
Last year, Stuart made the decision that he was going to build around the spine of Jamie Soward, Mitchell Pearce and Michael Ennis, but only Pearce seems to be in favour in 2012.
“That’s obviously gone by the by with Soward out of favour and even Mick Ennis out of favour,” Sheens said.
“I think at some stage NSW are going to have to looking at ‘well this is the group we’re going to go with and stick with it’.”
Sheens said Farah’s combination with City halfback Pearce and Cronulla five-eighth Todd Carney should work in his favour.
Pearce appears to have locked up the NSW No.7 jersey after two dominant displays for City and then the Sydney Roosters in the space of four days, while Carney is the front-runner to partner him in the halves.
“He plays very well with Mitchell Pearce, and it would appear to me that Mitchell is headed for NSW,” Sheens added.
“He’s also played very well with (Todd) Carney going back to the Four Nations win in Eden Park a couple of years ago.”