Blues coach Brad Fittler has revealed he is looking at Panthers bench player Moses Leota as a smokey selection for the 2020 State of Origin series.
Leota has played much of the season coming off the bench for the minor premiers Penrith, but Fittler believes that could help him nab the same role for NSW.
“You look at the front-rowers at the moment in the competition – you’ve got the two Parramatta boys, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo,” Fittler said on WWOS Freddy and the Eighth.
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“South Sydney have Tevita Tatola and then [Panthers have] Moses Leota.
“He (Leota) just absolutely charges, and he’s used to being a bench player.”
Rugby league immortal Andrew Johns backed up Fittler’s sentiments by suggesting that Leota was the ideal impact player in Origin football.
Moses Leota on the charge against the Roosters.Source:Getty Images
“When you go to the interchange you need impact,” Johns said.
“You need someone who’s going to hopefully change the speed of the game.
“He just charges.”
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Leota has been one of the most improved players in the competition averaging over 100 metres in 2020 as opposed to just 62 a game last season.
Fittler likened Leota’s selection chances to that of former Blues hard man David Gillespie, who was picked for a number of Origin campaigns despite playing on the bench at club level.
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“I remember David Gillespie used to get picked off the bench,” Fittler said.
“He used to come off the bench sometimes for Manly. He was the first pick by Gus all the time because he knew he would get impact.
“He knew how to handle being on the bench and was great around the team.
“Sometimes being an impact player doesn’t always hurt.”
The Blues squad will be announced on October 27 in the lead-up to the series opener on November 4.
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Originally published as‘He just charges’: Freddy targets NRL bench star as shock Blues bolter
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