New South Wales Origin coach Ricky Stuart has confirmed Danny Buderus is the frontrunner for the Blues hooker position, but slammed the lack of communication over Country's decision to pick Buderus for Country.
"If I had to pick a NSW side today, Danny Buderus would be hooker," Stuart told BigPond Sport's NRL Daily.
"I can only be up front and honest. Sometimes that gets in you in more trouble than telling a porky."
But the NSW coach was unimpressed with the selection of Buderus in the Country side, after both Stuart and the player himself made it clear that he needed the week off to rest an Achilles injury.
"I told Country last week that Danny needed a break," Stuart said. "He's not faking it. He does need a break, he's got an Achilles heel problem that's bugging him at the moment. I told Country that last week.
"We're not working together. I've said all along, until NSW rugby league is all under one banner, and NSW rugby league has the same type of administration and attitude that Queensland have, then we won't have that type of passion and success [that Queensland has]."
Stuart dismissed criticism of Buderus's decision to withdraw from the match.
"He has [got an injury]. I would never ever debate or challenge Danny Buderus's word. He's played for Country, he's played for NSW, he's played for Australia. If Danny Buderus says he needs a break, that's an injury. We need to trust him, and Danny Buderus is not the sort of person you would doubt in regards to his word."
Stuart also revealed the part NSW captain Paul Gallen played in convincing New Zealand-born prop James Tamou to switch allegiance to Australia. Tamou has since been selected for Australia to take on the Kiwis on Friday night, and is set to make his State of Origin debut with the Blues this season.
"I checked last year for his eligibility with his manager and nothing went forward. He had NSW and New Zealand on his eligibility form and he didn't have a clear view of how it works. Paul Gallen sat and had a beer with him after a game and he said he wants to play for NSW. Paul texted me and three or four days later I had it all sorted out."