Blues legend Andrew Johns believes Raiders star Jack Wighton is the best No.6 in the game and will push hard for the NSW five-eighth role for the State of Origin series.
His semi-final opponent Roosters supremo Luke Keary looked to be leading the race to the Blues No.6 jersey halfway through the year, but has faced increasing pressure from Rabbitohs star Cody Walker and Wighton in the lead-up to the finals.
However Johns believes no five-eighth is playing better at the moment than Wighton.
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“He’s the best five-eighth in the competition,” Johns said told Wide World of Sports’ Freddy and The Eighth.
“I think he’s playing even better than Cody Walker.
“He’s just such a threat and at the moment he has a presence to him, a presence on the field which is just absolute superstar quality.
“He has such a big impact, his passing game is improved but when he runs the ball – and he was in everything the other night (finals win over the Sharks), making big tackles.
“The running game, he’s such an aggressive player but he’s making such an impact.
“I think at the moment he’s a top three player in the game and photo finish, he’s just ahead of Cody Walker at the moment in five-eighths.”
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Where Wighton plays could come down to the strength of the Blues’ centre options because he is an incumbent right centre and his 2019 partner Tom Trbojevic, Latrell Mitchell and Kotoni Staggs are on the sidelines.
However if everyone was fit it would be hard to argue against Wighton playing outside Nathan Cleary in the halves.
Jack Wighton will be in the NSW somewhere and it could be at No.6.Source:AAP
Blues coach Brad Fittler backed up Johns’ sentiments and even went a step further by comparing Wighton to Canberra and NSW legend Laurie Daley.
“He’s just a specimen,” Fittler said.
“Laurie Daley, they sort of run a little bit differently, Laurie just had this beautiful – he could move with his body – while Jack is sort of more upright.
“But they have this ability, they beat you before they’re even near you – they just knew they were going to beat you.
“So they’d just be fending you off before thinking about the next player they were going to beat.
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“And Jack does that so much like Loz.
“Loz was brilliant at just getting across the field and he knew you were gone.
“He was like planning on beating you because you were already gone because he’d just fend you off.
“They have this wonderful balance so two brilliant players to watch, he’s awesome.”
The Blues will name their final squad for the State of Origin series on October 27 to prepare for the first game on November 4.
Originally published asWighton takes on Keary in Blues audition. Joey has picked one as the best No.6 in the game
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