Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks has declared he isn’t ready to play State of Origin for New South Wales this season despite his stellar NRL form in 2015.
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The rookie says he needs more experience before dealing with the pressure and physicality of Origin, giving Blues coach Laurie Daley a selection headache ahead of Origin I later this month.
Halves Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson have struggled for form this season, while Mitchell Pearce hasn’t had a desired impact at State of Origin level.
Brooks says he is “pretty far away” from making his Origin debut and is concentrating on being consistent with the fifth-placed Wests Tigers.
“I don’t think I’m in the mix,” Brooks is quoted as saying by AAP.
“I’m not really thinking about Origin, I am pretty far away from that.
“I am just concentrating on playing good footy for the Tigers and being consistent.
“Origin is a different ball game, I am still learning my way around the NRL, so I don’t think I am anywhere near that at the moment, but hopefully I can get there.”
The 20-year-old has played 30 first-grade games for Wests since making his debut in 2013, scoring 12 tries.
In other State of Origin news, NSW star forward Greg Bird is facing an eight-week ban for a dangerous throw during Sunday’s 26-12 ANZAC Test loss to New Zealand.
The 30-year-old’s poor record in the past two years has resulted in the heavy suspension.
If Bird is to take the early guilty plea he will banned for six weeks and miss State of Origin I.
However if he chooses to fight the charge, the Titans star will risk being ruled out of the first two State of Origin games.