Never has a State of Origin series meant so much to New South Welshmen. With Queensland on the verge of an unbelievable seventh straight success, the Blues need to make the right calls or risk being embarrassed again.
There has been talk recently that legendary Blues rake Danny Buderus should be brought back into the squad to combat the Queensland assault. His record speaks for itself and the man bleeds blue. But so does Michael Ennis. Why not pick them both?
With Kurt Gidley injured on the weekend, a possible bench spot has opened up for coach Ricky Stuart. With Queensland sure to go with captain Cameron Smith at hooker, the Blues need to not only match Smith, they need to outplay Smith.
Could Buderus play eighty minutes and outplay Smith? Maybe. Could Ennis play eighty minutes and outplay Smith? Perhaps.
But playing them both means Smith and the other Maroons forwards will have their hands full the entire game. Ennis for the first thirty minutes, Buderus in for the next thirty. Play them both for the final twenty?
Why not? We can’t be left wondering anymore.
Buderus has made it clear he wants his Blues jersey back.
“I am a proud New South Welshman, and I would love to play,” Buderus said. “I think a few boxes would have to be ticked for me to get a run there.
“I am not going to count myself out, but a couple of hookers would probably have to fall over before I get a start. I will just be as consistent as I can and if the opportunity arises, I’d jump at it.”
Ennis probably has the early running for the spot being the incumbent. But Buderus is a leader few men would dare question. He is a warrior that lets his actions do the talking. And when Origin time comes, he hates the Queenslanders.
Stuart loves Buderus. “Isn’t it great to see the culture of Origin is changing with our senior players with this type of attitude,” Stuart said.
“Over the years players have been pressured not to continue playing Origin football and have opted to take the easy option by not putting their hand up.
“When Danny Buderus was playing Origin, he was Origin. I love the attitude that he’s shown in declaring he’s willing to pull on the Blue jumper.”
Ennis is a commodity Stuart needs too. He has that x-factor in Origin that the Blues need.
Both men are venomous and both want to win the Origin series back for their state. Pick them both and let them do what they do best.