Alex McKinnon's truth bomb for Tom Trbojevic ahead of State of Origin

The former NRL player has weighed in on NSW's tricky call regarding the Manly fullback.

Alex McKinnon and Tom Trbojevic, pictured here in the NRL.
Alex McKinnon doesn't think NSW can be pick Tom Trbojevic for State of Origin. Image: Getty

Alex McKinnon has declared NSW can't pick Tom Trbojevic for State of Origin, saying he'd go with Stephen Crichton in the centres instead. Trbojevic was thought to be a lock for Brad Fittler's Blues side, but a number of recent injuries have sparked major concerns.

The Manly gun went down with a groin injury against the Wests Tigers last weekend, and despite being named to play against the Gold Coast in round nine, will have to pass a fitness test to play. It was initially thought Trbojevic would play in the centres for NSW come State of Origin time, with Latrell Mitchell expected to be the other centre.

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But according to McKinnon, there's no way Fittler can take the risk of picking Trbojevic while he's under an injury cloud. "Turbo is quite clearly injured, you only had to watch him get run down by Tigers prop Stefano Utoikamanu last weekend to know how seriously it’s impacting him," McKinnon told Fox Sports on Thursday.

"There’s only three genuine candidates to partner Latrell Mitchell in the centres - Stephen Crichton, Campbell Graham and Kotoni Staggs. I think it should be the man who played in all three games last year in the absence of Michell and Trbojevic - Panthers star Crichton."

Crichton copped some flak over his performances in State of Origin last year and looked well off the pace at times. However the Panthers centre appears to be hitting top form at just the right time after scoring a hat-trick against South Sydney in round eight.

Graham is also right in contention and is arguably the most in-form centre in the competition, while some have also suggested he could play wing in the absence of the injured Josh Addo-Carr. Graham played on the wing for Australia at last year's World Cup.

Greg Alexander says Tom Trbojevic not an automatic pick

Speaking on Monday, NSW advisor Greg Alexander admitted Trbojevic wasn't an automatic selection anymore. “Certainly plenty to think about,” he said on SEN radio.

“It doesn’t just happen. Although you just think Tom was an automatic selection, until he finds a bit of form and confidence, there is plenty to think about.”

In commentary for Channel 9 on Sunday, Phil Gould said: "He's among the best I've ever seen but he's not 100 per cent. I doubt he did his groin today. I've sensed a number of times he wasn't 100 per cent."

Tom Trbojevic, pictured here in action for NSW in State of Origin.
Tom Trbojevic in action for NSW in State of Origin. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) (Chris Hyde via Getty Images)

Manly coach Anthony Seibold revealed Trbojevic has "very, very minor adductor (tear)." He added: “We will name him and do a fitness test on Friday. It’s the best news possible. He presented really well today.

“It’s really good news but we won’t be silly with him. If he has any concerns, we will hold him back.”

Earlier this month, NSW legend Andrew Johns said he disagreed with the likes of Paul Gallen and brother Matty that Trbojevic should play on the wing if fit. "The wingers in Origin are your front-rowers, they get the sets rolling forward. Why would you get one of your great players just to be doing the donkey work?" he told Wide World of Sports on the 'Freddie and the Eighth' podcast.

"You want to save him up for the good ball, which you get in the centres. [In 2021] He played centre and got player of the series. Why would you move him to the wing?"

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