Brandon Smith calls out Mitchell Moses reports amid brutal new Origin development

Moses is reportedly set to miss Origin selection as he recovers from injury.

Blues coach Michael Maguire is reportedly set to leave Mitchell Moses out of his Game I State of Origin side as the Eels star remains sidelined with a foot injury. Moses hasn’t played since injuring his foot in Round 3 and will not feature for the Eels in the Magic Round or the week after - in the last game before Origin teams are announced.

With Moses under an injury cloud, the Blues coach is reportedly looking elsewhere and won't consider the Eels halfback for Game I as it is too risky. It is considered too tall of a task for Moses to play a gruelling and fast-paced Origin opener without an NRL game under his belt.

Pictured L-R: Brandon Smith, Mitch Moses and Nicho Hynes
Michael Maguire is reportedly set to overlook the injured Mitch Moses for Game I as Brandon Smith calls for Nicho Hynes to be given his chance. Image: Getty

And with a hamstring injury ruling out Nathan Cleary for the series and no Moses for at least Game I, the battle for the two spots in the halves is on. The likes of Nicho Hynes, Cody Walker, Jarome Luai, Luke Keary, Matt Burton and Adam Reynolds have been thrown around as the most likely contenders. Of those, Hynes would likely be most favoured to win one of the halves spots as he has been in scintillating form in the NRL this season.

Last year, Hynes debuted for the Blues as the utility and came on at centre for a short time due to an injury. His brutal introduction saw then-coach Brad Fittler drop him from the squad altogether after Game I.

Hynes' form bounced back and he was eventually selected to tour with the Kangaroos at the end of the season. Hynes made the admission earlier this month that he was ready to wear the Blues jersey again having matured at the end of 2023.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 08: Nicho Hynes of the Blues watches on from the sideline during game one of the 2022 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on June 08, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Nicho Hynes debuted for the Blues as a utility last year but his horror 10-minute cameo saw then-coach Brad Fittler drop him from the squad altogether after Game I.

The news of Moses not being considered for Origin I comes as Brandon Smith called out the Blues for their lack of confidence in Hynes. Smith - a former teammate of Hynes - expressed his confusion at the side seemingly searching for alternative options despite the star halfback's impeccable form having lifted the Sharks to the top of the table.

"Nicho has been one of the best in the comp for the last three years, he has won a Dally M, he is playing unreal footy at the moment,” Smith said on The Bye Round Podcast. "I don’t understand why they are off him.

"He has played like 10 minutes in an Origin … at centre. I think he will relish the big game. He is a winner. His side is on top of the table. It just pisses me off a little bit.” I think he is the best halfback there is on offer."

Another contender for a Blues halves spot, Burton, isn't shying away from the fact he wants a recall to the Blues squad, even suggesting he would be happy to play at centre or utility if needed. “I’ve had a taste of it so it’d be nice to get back in there, but I’ll just keep doing what’s best for the team and hopefully something comes from it,” Burton said earlier this month.


"I think I’m just trying to get better each game. I’m just looking at that and trying to implement the things that I can work on. I feel like I’m getting there.” Hynes appears to be the frontrunner so far having not played in the halves at Origin level."