Origin needs Gallen, says Stuart - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Origin needs Gallen, says Stuart

By David Beniuk and Ian McCullough 16/05/2010 06:44:23 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart says Queensland's odds to win an unprecedented fifth straight State of Origin series will shorten even further if NSW don't pick Sharks enforcer Paul Gallen.

Test forward Gallen will be under pressure to hang onto his Origin spot when selectors sit down on Monday to pick their side for the series opener at ANZ Stadium on May 26.

"If they don't pick Paul Gallen, then they (Queensland) must be $1.50 to win," former Blues coach Stuart said after the Sharks' 34-14 loss to Penrith on Sunday.

"I will get called biased, but I would pick Gallen, Trent Barrett at five-eighth and Kade (prop) Snowden on the bench.

"If they don't pick Gal then they are watching a different game to me."

The selectors are tipped to pick the back row trio of St George Illawarra's Ben Creagh, Manly's Anthony Watmough and Penrith's Trent Waterhouse, with Gallen reportedly struggling to even win a bench spot.

Panthers coach Matt Elliott threw his support behind Waterhouse.

"I am a pretty big fan, I thought his form in a beaten City side was outstanding, he is just the guy you need in Origin," Queenslander Elliott said.

"He doesn't need help from anyone, he just throws out those big octopus arms and, as well as being a handful, he has a bit of skill.

"I would have him in my team."

Five-eighth and right centre remain the big questions ahead of the team announcement, at halftime during the Manly-Parramatta Monday night clash.

One is likely to determine the other, with Sea Eagles co-captain Jamie Lyon the key.

If he is named at five-eighth, a right-centre position becomes available and Panthers whiz Michael Jennings reminded selectors of his abilities with a hat-trick performance against the Sharks.

"I would be picking him, he gives you some real strike, good footwork and I am sure Pet (Queensland prop Petero Civoniceva) will be happy if he is playing with us next week," Elliott said.

Parramatta's Timana Tahu and Canterbury teenager Jamal Idris are the other candidates for the centre spot.

Among the five-eighth candidates, the Sydney Roosters' Todd Carney didn't help his chances in his side's poor 34-18 loss to Newcastle on Saturday, while Knights captain Kurt Gidley, still likely to be named at fullback, did by playing in the halves.

Gold Coast's Greg Bird was on the end of a 28-6 thrashing from Brisbane, while Elliott rated utility Luke Lewis his best performer on Sunday.

Loyalty would be needed to see Barrett in the No.6 while South Sydney's John Sutton put his hand up to be a left-field bolter with a great game in the 50-10 thrashing of the Wests Tigers.

Possible NSW team: Kurt Gidley (capt), Jarryd Hayne, Timana Tahu, Matt Cooper, Brett Morris, Jamie Lyon, Brett Kimmorley, Michael Weyman, Michael Ennis, Josh Perry, Ben Creagh, Anthony Watmough, Trent Waterhouse. Interchange: Luke Lewis, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Brett White, Jamal Idris.

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