Woods, Galloway deserve NSW spots: Sheens
June 1, 2012 - 6:04PM
The public spat over Robbie Farah hasn’t prevented Wests Tigers’ coach Tim Sheens again handing NSW counterpart Ricky Stuart selection advice as he implored the Blues to give in-form NRL props Aaron Woods and Keith Galloway a start in State of Origin II.
Sheens, who became embroiled in a spirited selection debate with Stuart over hooker Farah’s prospects before the Origin opener, has thrown his support behind Tigers’ duo Woods and Galloway, as NSW selectors again seek a forward pack capable of delivering Origin success.
“If NSW are looking for three props, they were on show at Campbelltown last weekend. Young (James) Tamou and my two boys - they would not let NSW down,” the former Blues’ coach said on Friday.
"All three are in very good form, they are big men and they are playing long minutes. They are all starting players - they are not coming off the bench to play.
“I’m pretty happy with my two and, last weekend, I thought they (Woods, Galloway and Tamou) were the three standouts in respect to the props on the day. I thought they overshadowed young (Matt) Scott. All three had very good games and I don’t think you could go wrong with picking all three blokes.”
Tamou’s name is certain to be read out when the NSW side is announced on Sunday night and, barring a radical selection rethink, Blues’ captain Paul Gallen will play alongside him in the front row.
However, injury and underwhelming performances in the Blues’ May 23 loss in the opening Origin game in Melbourne have left the bench spots wide open for the second game in Sydney on June 13.
Tony Williams will miss the second game due to a back injury. His spot is expected to be filled by Sea Eagles’ teammate Anthony Watmough, but the other three bench spots are up for grabs after Jamie Buhrer, Ben Creagh and Trent Merrin all failed to impress.
Woods is yet to play Origin, while Galloway’s sole Origin experience came off the bench for NSW in their 34-24 loss in the deciding game in Brisbane last year.
Woods and Galloway have been key figures in the Tigers’ charge up the NRL ladder on the back of five successive wins and their selection could allow Stuart the versatility of moving Gallen into the backrow during the crucial second match.
Farah, who cemented his place in the NSW line-up with a strong effort in Melbourne, said the duo would not be out of place in a Blues’ jersey.
“They have been doing an outstanding job for us at the Tigers,” Farah said.
"(They) definitely have a chance. I have been praising those two. They are a major reason why we have been going so well and why my form has been better.
“The foundation they have been laying for our team, for myself and Benji (Marshall) has been outstanding. They are up there with the form front-rowers of the competition and there is no reason why they wouldn’t come into consideration.”