With NSW aiming to avoid a 6th straight series loss in the State of Origin, many former NSW greats have grave concerns over the form of some potential NSW props, and the injuries that have hampered others.
With Michael Weyman unlikely to play in Origin, at least Game 1, due to a long-term injury, and other props not playing as well as previous years, it has the legends worried.
Even boom prop from 2010, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs has not been able to continue that form, as he has been dropped to the bench for the last couple of games by Raiders coach, David Furner.
Former NSW prop and two-time premiership winner, Glenn Lazarus, was not about to beat around the bush, saying that the props have to stand up, and do so now.
“The props need to start firing,” Lazarus said.
“There are some good candidates but they haven’t shown anything to get excited about.
“They really need to start showing some form. And you can’t pick them if they’re not playing well because you don’t suddenly find form in a State of Origin match.
“Queensland have been very fortunate to have so many good front-rowers over their five years of success.”
Another former NSW enforcer, Steve Roach, shared the same views as Lazarus.
“No front-rowers have hit their straps yet. It’s that simple,” Roach said.
“Someone has to grab the bull by the horns and put their hand up.
“There are spots open and there isn’t one certainty for selection. And you’d think with the way the game is played these days that we will need three props.”
Laurie Daley, who is the coach for Country, also has concerns of his own about the prop situation.
“There are plenty of good props going around in the NRL but at the moment no one is demanding selection,” said Daley, a former NSW captain and selector.
“We have a few weeks before Origin selection but the time is right for someone to stick their hand up.
“I am sure Ricky would like a couple of robust performances in coming weeks to make his decision a little easier.
“Weyman being out is a blow and a couple of others have had modest starts to the season. I guess the ball is their court. Perform and they will be selected.”