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Yow Yeh's Test shock relegates Blues pair

By Joe Barton 30/04/2011 02:13:24 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane young gun Jharal Yow Yeh's likely Test call-up seems certain to exclude NSW duo Jarryd Hayne and Mark Gasnier from the Australian team to face New Zealand next Friday.

Yow Yeh, regarded as one of the best young wingers in the NRL, is under strong consideration to fill the wing spot of injured St George Illawarra fullback Darius Boyd.

Yow Yeh's potential inclusion should also see his Broncos teammate Justin Hodges take the field at Skilled Stadium and make a return to the Test team in preference to Dragons' centre Gasnier.

Hodges and Yow Yeh have the edge on the selection table because they have formed a lethal combination on the right-hand side of the field for Brisbane this year.

Gasnier will get one final chance to send selectors a message in Sunday's showdown with Parramatta at WIN Jubilee Oval.

Fellow Dragon Brett Morris, despite a sluggish start to 2011, is expected to line up on the other wing, ahead of fellow NSW hopefuls Akuila Uate and Hayne.

Australian selector Bob McCarthy said the squad won't be decided until Sunday afternoon when selectors sit down at a final meeting before the announcement with Test coach Tim Sheens at 4.45pm at Canberra Stadium.

Just this week, Yow Yeh's club coach Anthony Griffin said his flyer was still too raw for representative football this season.

"I don't want to be negative about it but just at the moment, he's still a bit raw," he said.

"It's only a personal view but my gut feeling is it's a little bit early but I'll be the happiest bloke in the world if he's picked."

But McCarthy admitted Yow Yeh's blistering form - which has seen him score five tries in eight games - had shot him into calculations ahead of more experienced rivals.

"He'll be there somewhere in the future and he's playing particularly well (this season) and we'll have to see what happens (on Sunday) when we get together," McCarthy told AAP.

"We haven't picked the side yet (but) he's one of the blokes we're considering.

"If we pick him and he's in the side then obviously we like him, but that's all I can say."

The shock selection would relegate Gasnier and Parramatta star Hayne to City Origin duties, where Hayne would likely take control of the No.1 jersey - pushing boom Manly prospect Will Hopoate to the wing.

While it is a demotion of sorts to be excluded from the Test team, the move will allow Hayne to engage in a genuine battle with Canberra whiz kid Josh Dugan for the Blues custodian role.

Dugan is the hot tip to line up at the back for Country despite only recently returning from a calf injury.

Meanwhile, NSW coach Ricky Stuart has admitted Newcastle half Jarrod Mullen's impressive start to 2011 has thrown down a challenge to incumbent Blues halfback Mitchell Pearce.

"I'm a massive fan of Jarrod Mullen," Stuart told Sydney's 95.3FM show, The Sin Bin.

"In our `Blues in waiting' camp in February I grabbed Jarrod and said 'please don't think your state of Origin days are over, you're only a young boy, you've had one or two games there'.

"And I think it's been unfair over the years on our halves with the criticism they've copped because I don't reckon that we've had the mongrel or the intensity or aggression in the middle."

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