Blues must pick perfect problem solver

Michael Maguire was panned for not picking a genuine utility on the bench for game one, but if the rookie NSW coach wants to mix things up, he only has to look at Connor Watson who was reportedly on the cusp of earning an Origin debut before those dreams were shattered by another frustrating injury setback.

The Roosters utility has been outstanding for them in a number of roles, with Watson playing the full 80 minutes at dummy-half against the Eels with Brandon Smith stood down for the clash for missing a team meeting.

The speedy Watson can play hooker, lock, in the halves or even at centre, with every coach these days dreaming of having their very own Swiss Army knife given there are so many injuries to key players.

Unfortunately, Watson has had his unfair share of injuries over the years, with a bump to the throat while making a tackle during Magic Round sidelining him for a month when his name was on everyone’s lips for an Origin debut.

blues must pick perfect problem solver

Blues must pick perfect problem solver

“It was a weird one. It was frustrating because it was something that was so innocuous,” Watson said, having suffered a throat cartilage fracture in 2022.

“It was the risk with the throat (that kept me out). I felt like I could play after a week because the pain and stuff went out of it, but then the doctors said ‘it’s so risky if you play’.

“We asked every specialist or anyone that had an opinion on it, and they all said four weeks. Even this week they were sitting on the fence, but I was like ‘you told me four weeks. This Saturday is four weeks, so I’m playing’.

“I missed a whole year last year so I just wanted to get back and play.

“I felt like I was playing really good footy and I was in a groove, and then you get something like this and you have to sit out for a month.

“I knew my throat was fine because the last time I did it, it felt worse and I played after four weeks last time. The scan was worse last time so I knew I was fine to play today (Saturday).”

blues must pick perfect problem solver

The Blues struggled to adapt when Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii was sent off in game one, which is why Watson and Matt Burton are battling it out for a bench spot to ensure they have options should someone in the outside backs go down.

Watson hasn’t spoken with Maguire yet, but a phone call would be life-changing for a young man who was out for more than 500 days and only returned to the field this year following a gruesome knee injury.

“It’d be crazy, it’d mean the world to me,” he said.

“Every kid dreams of it. As a kid, Origin is the pinnacle of rugby league and it meant so much to us.

“If I did get the call, it’d be an unbelievable childhood dream, but we’ll see what happens.

“I’ve always dreamt about playing it, but when I got back this year I was more worried about getting back from the knee and playing again.

“To even be in those conversations was like ‘oh, this has come pretty quickly’, and it shows how fast things move in footy. If you’re playing well, you never know what might happen.”

OTHER NEWS

55 minutes ago

Liverpool lining up 45m machine whod be their best DM since Fabinho

55 minutes ago

'Minions 3' set for June 2027 release

55 minutes ago

Inside North Korean summer camp where kids get drunk on rice vodka and perform 'weird rituals'

55 minutes ago

City loses SCA appeal in land invasions case

55 minutes ago

World number one irrelevant as Ireland’s Andy Farrell basks in Springbok victory

55 minutes ago

Kate Mall: First ASEAN-themed lifestyle, retail destination in Qatar holds Family Day event

55 minutes ago

Egypt denies rumours of Suez Canal sale for $1 trillion

55 minutes ago

Tesla Model 3 Performance Owner Tries Hyundai Ioniq 5 N

55 minutes ago

Amazon Prime Day deals are almost here. Should you take advantage of them?

55 minutes ago

Novak Djokovic is 37 and had knee surgery last month but faces Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final

55 minutes ago

Foord sits out Matildas' pre-Games loss to Canada

55 minutes ago

Vladimir Putin humiliation after Ukrainian anglers knock out drone with a fish

55 minutes ago

Listen to Roger Glover’s isolated bassline on Deep Purple’s Highway Star

55 minutes ago

Erasmus reflects on Springboks' loss: 'We can't make excuses for our first half'

55 minutes ago

The mysterious art of the casting director: ‘When you see the truth in front of you, it’s the right person’

55 minutes ago

Lakers’ Rookie Dazzles In Game One Of Las Vegas Summer League

55 minutes ago

Video: Trump supporter claims he saw a man with a RIFLE hiding on the roof just outside Trump rally and warned cops just minutes before ex-president was shot - as picture appears to show dead gunman

55 minutes ago

Singer JJ Lin pondered leaving showbiz due to negative comments online

55 minutes ago

Why Roku's Business Could Look Drastically Different in 5 Years

55 minutes ago

The tiny island that's the best place in UK to see the northern lights

55 minutes ago

Liverpool transfer boost as midfield target deemed 'no longer a priority' by Juventus

55 minutes ago

Your Love and Relationship Horoscope for July 14th, 2024

55 minutes ago

The 10 greatest, most clutch penalty takers of all time: Ronaldo, Messi, Toney…

55 minutes ago

Macron demands would-be successors put ambitions aside for sake of France

55 minutes ago

Dana White in 'complete shock' and 'sick to stomach' after Donald Trump shooting

55 minutes ago

Nothing justifies an assassination bid - but did Trump play a part in changing the rules of engagement?

55 minutes ago

AI supercharges data center energy use – straining the grid and slowing sustainability efforts

55 minutes ago

Scientists discover game-changing method to recycle solar panels using less energy: 'Paving the way to a circular economy'

55 minutes ago

Number of on-street electric car chargers installed by councils fell by more than 80 per cent last year, official figures show

55 minutes ago

Elon Musk “Fully Endorses Donald Trump For President”; Says Secret Service Must Resign

55 minutes ago

Venice nets $2.2 million in day-tripper tax pilot. Opponents say it failed to deter visitors

55 minutes ago

From pineapples to perfection: The fascinating history of Wimbledon’s trophies

55 minutes ago

Ranking every Barcelona shirt sponsor since 2010 from worst to best

55 minutes ago

How much did the Ambani wedding cost?

55 minutes ago

Money for nothing: is universal basic income about to transform society?

55 minutes ago

People are only just realising where the term 'gaslighting' really comes from

55 minutes ago

With £20k, here’s how I’d target a £15,919 passive income every year

55 minutes ago

WNBA Fan's Angle of Caitlin Clark's Unbelievable Shot vs. Mercury Goes Viral

55 minutes ago

Pakistani filmmaker Aasim Abbasi on ghost love story 'Barzakh'

55 minutes ago

Steam Users Have 2 Free Games to Claim Right Now

ALONGWALKER VIETNAM: Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch ALONGWALKER INDONESIA: Saluran untuk mengeksplorasi pengalaman para pemuda global