Hinchcliffe ready for NSW call
One man has already put his hand up for Robbie Farah's NSW jersey should the stand-in fail to be fit for Origin II.
Ryan Hinchcliffe has thrown his hat in the ring to take over the No.9 after Farah suffered a shoulder injury in the Blues' 11-10 defeat in Wednesday night's State of Origin series opener.
Justin Hodges escaped punishment for his tackle in the 28th minute that left the stand-in Blues skipper hampered for the remainder of the game.
Speaking at the post-match press conference with ice on his left shoulder, Farah said he would not know the extent of the injury until he underwent scans on Thursday.
Hinchcliffe seemed rather chuffed when his name was thrown up as a possible replacement but was happy to take the phone call from coach Laurie Daley should it come his way.
"It is certainly something I'd love to do," Hinchcliffe said.
"If the opportunity arose I am very confident I'd be able to do the job but for me, my sole focus is on the Melbourne Storm at the moment."
"I know that if I'm not playing well at club level you are not even going to get looked at or talked about.
"I'd love to play for New South Wales but it is certainly not something I go to bed at night thinking about… but I know that if I was given the opportunity I'd be ready for it."
The 30-year-old – who would face off against club captain and Game I Man of the Match Cameron Smith if selected for the Blues – is not foreign to representative football, having represented NSW Country on three occasions.
A proud Blue, Hinchcliffe found it tough to watch his club teammates Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Will Chambers and Smith prevail over his state on Wednesday night, but the following day was only too happy to offer them praise.
"I thought Bill was good and Will Chambers was like Manu Vatuvei bringing the ball back there at times, he was steaming into the line and I thought he was outstanding," Hinchcliffe said.
"Cameron Smith was unbelievable and Coops showed the class that he had so I thought all the boys did an outstanding job."
Top-of-the-table Melbourne travel to Sydney this Monday night to take on the fifth-placed Roosters.