Penrith forward Trent Merrin has come out in support of club teammate Peter Wallace as a potential bolter for New South Wales, saying “I’d definitely put him up into contention for sure”.
And he’s right. Once you’ve finished spraying your coffee over your keyboard, take a moment to consider the alternative options the Blues actually have at hooker. Cameron Smith, Jake Friend, Andrew McCullough and Jake Granville are Queenslanders. James Segeyaro is Papua New Guinean. Josh Hodgson is English, while Isaac Luke and Matt McIlwrick are Kiwis. That’s half the NRL’s starting hookers just there.
Robbie Farah is the incumbent, but has never been particularly effective for the Blues despite ample opportunity, and is, frankly, well past his prime.
Nathan Peats looks like the heir apparent, but is currently out injured until Round 8. After Peats, the cupboard looks awfully bare. The remaining hookers are Kaysa Pritchard (too small), Michael Lichaa (too inconsistent), Cameron McInnes (too green), Api Korisau (too untested) and Danny Levi (too rubbish).
Wallace is playing the best football of any New South Wales-eligible hooker, and has been for 18 months. The Blues could do a lot worse.