Nicho Hynes in major State of Origin development as Michael Maguire makes Isaah Yeo call

The Blues halfback trained for the first time with the team on Thursday.

After not taking part in the Blues' first full training session on Wednesday ahead of the State of Origin opener, Nicho Hynes has somewhat eased New South Wales fans' worries after getting through a light warm-up at Blues training on Thursday. NSW coach Michael Maguire had said Hynes would "hit the ground running on day one" of the Blues' camp in the Blue Mountains, despite the fact he was carrying a calf niggle.

And while that didn't eventuate yesterday as he continues to battle a calf injury, the Blues halfback completed brief drills with players before separating and training with second-rower Liam Martin on Thursday. The pair completed several shuttle runs and passes under the watchful eye of staff, with Hynes able to step at a slow pace. Martin also didn't take part in the full session on Wednesday and the pair's inclusion in Thursday's training is a strong sign they will be right to go for Origin I on June 5.

Nicho Hynes got through a light warm-up at Blues training on Thursday, while Isaah Yeo has been announced as Blues vice-captain. Image: Getty
Nicho Hynes got through a light warm-up at Blues training on Thursday, while Isaah Yeo has been announced as Blues vice-captain. Image: Getty

Media were then kicked out for the rest of Thursday's session but the halfback's involvement in training is a promising sign. Hynes failed to complete Cronulla's loss to Penrith on Saturday night but NSW have maintained that they are confident he will be fit to face Queensland. A call will likely be made in the coming days on his fitness with backup half Luke Keary expected to be released back to the Sydney Roosters for a game on Sunday.

And Maguire insisted earlier this week Hynes is "ready to go". "I'm really super-confident with how Nicho's been. Listening to the conversations of what he's had to face over his career and what he's learnt, I'm looking forward to how he comes into camp because he's a leader."

Maguire began his NSW coaching tenure with a few controversial calls, arguably none more divisive than announcing Jake Trbojevic as Blues captain for State of Origin I over Panthers lock Isaah Yeo. Maguire confirmed the decision to hand the Manly lock the armband on Sunday night, after dropping last year's captain and NSW regular James Tedesco from the side.

Maguire was largely expected to name Yeo as the new Blues captain but after selecting him on the bench opted to go with Trbojevic. However, on Thursday the New South Wales coach announced that Yeo will be the side's vice-captain under Jake Trbojevic and will take charge when Trbojevic is on the bench.


"After watching Yeoy get around camp, he's a born leader," Maguire said. "It's nice to see that I've got two really strong characters in both the boys. Obviously there'll be an interchange between those guys at some stage on the field, so I've got two really strong characters and leaders on the field quality person."

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 13:  Isaah Yeo of the Blues offloads the ball during game three of the State of Origin Series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 13, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Isaah Yeo has been announced as the Blues vice-captain for Game I.

with AAP