Farah says No.7 won’t halve Origin hopes
April 29, 2010 - 4:49PM
Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah is confident playing halfback this Sunday against the Roosters won’t affect his aspirations of representing NSW at hooker.
It’s not the first time Tigers coach Tim Sheens has called on Farah to fill in next to Benji Marshall, but Farah is presently in the middle of a tense battle to reclaim his Blues No.9 jersey from Canterbury’s Michael Ennis.
Farah, who played in Origin one and two last year before being dropped for game three, is sure selectors have already seen enough of what he can do out of dummy half without this weekend counting in the final wash-up.
“Look, I don’t think one game of halfback is going to make the selectors minds up,” said Farah, who is carrying an elbow injury but will be right to take the field.
"I’ve been playing hooker for over five or six years in the NRL.
"I’ve been asked to do the job this week by Tim and move to halfback, so my first priority here is captaining the Wests Tigers and doing what’s best for the team.
“The coach asked me if I wouldn’t mind going there for this week and do the job for the team, hopefully with Rob Lui coming back I’d move back into the hooking role soon. But with the injury crisis we’ve got going at the moment, the coach saw the need to move me there.”
The skilful skipper will play representative football of some description next Friday, but it remains to be seen whether he will line up for Australia in the Test or City Origin in their match against Country.
If Farah misses out for the Kangaroos and plays in the Origin selection match, he may have to forego the opportunity to directly oppose Country’s Ennis at hooker and instead do a job at halfback for City - with City halfback options Mitchell Pearce and Peter Wallace both injured.
However, Farah said even at that level, it’s all about doing whatever is required of him.
“With Mitch and Wal going down it does leave City a bit short,” he said.
“There’s a couple of young guys they could throw in, they could throw me in there, again I haven’t thought about it and haven’t been asked anything about it.”
Liam Fulton will move up the scrum to rake for Wests this week with 26-year-old Magpies junior Nathan Waters to make a belated debut off the bench as a cover for the halves and hooking roles.
Farah has sensed the Tigers have lost their direction in their consecutive losses to the Bulldogs and Penrith and said he knows what to do at halfback to get the team back on track.
“I’ve played there before so I know what to expect. I know all the structure of our club here and I guess what I’ll be looking to do is try and give Benji as much ball as I can,” he said.
“With the last couple of weeks I don’t think Benji has got the ball that he’s needed and we’ve needed him to get so hopefully I can control things around the ruck and provide him with as much opportunity as I can.”
Farah joked he will have to remind himself on Sunday not to jump into dummy half at every play: “Instinct will make me chase the ball and get in there, I’ll probably have to remind myself not to!”