To'o backs Crichton beside him for Origin

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Brian To'o has thrown his support behind Stephen Crichton's bid for the NSW left centre spot, declaring his Penrith teammate ready for State of Origin.

Latrell Mitchell's jersey remains the most difficult for the Blues to fill ahead of the June 8 opener, with the South Sydney star ruled out of the Accor Stadium clash.

Coach Brad Fittler indicated last week that Kotoni Staggs was the favourite to make his debut on the left, while suggesting Crichton was still some years off.

But the potential of adding more numbers to the Panthers' club combinations could still act as a lure.

As things stand, NSW are expected to roll out Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai in the halves, as well as key link man Isaah Yeo at lock.

Liam Martin is also an incumbent coming off the bench as an edge, while To'o is close to a walk-in start on the left wing.

And he is confident his combination with Crichton would be able to stand up in Origin, with the pair having played side-by-side on the left during Penrith's 17 straight wins in 2020.

"I would put my tip up for Critta," To'o told AAP.

"Just because he has been in the system and been in the pathways for NSW. He has been playing some big games.

"He is younger than me but been in massive games with massive stakes.

"He has always been able to compose himself. I would definitely back him for that spot if he works hard and earns it."

Crichton has been a part of Blues' camps in the past, and has played in the past two grand finals for the Panthers.

He and To'o's combination was crucial in helping the NSW winger return from knee injury in last Friday's loss to Parramatta.

To'o came through the match unscathed, moving to the right alongside Crichton to allow rookie Taylan May to stay on the left alongside his school teammate Izack Tago.

To'o said he had no issue with the switch away from his dominant left, taking the chance to reunite with Crichton after moving to the right last season.

"It was a bit different with the view (in defence) but it's not that much," To'o said.

"(Critta) showed me how he works and stuff like that. We know how each other operate, so I think that makes my job a lot easier.

"Tiny and Tago have been playing a lot of football together and know how they've been working together. They've been killing it on the left side.

"I think it was what's best for the team."

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