Farah helps Ennis prepare for takeover
Blues hooker Robbie Farah remains determined to give himself every chance to defy a broken hand to take his place in next Wednesday's State of Origin series decider but in the meantime is helping long-time rival Michael Ennis slot into the NSW hooking role in case he's needed.
Farah flew up to Coffs Harbour to join NSW teammates late on Wednesday after initially being denied the chance to fly because it had been less than 24 hours since surgery to insert a plate and screw in the fourth metacarpal of his right hand.
Ennis joined him in camp on Thursday morning after spending Wednesday evening at the judiciary unsuccessfully attempting to have a grade one careless high tackle charge downgraded, although the one-game ban will be served this weekend for the Sharks, leaving him available to train with the Blues this week and play next Wednesday night if required.
Asked how much guidance he would provide Ennis, Farah quickly reminded journalists "I'm still a chance!" before adding he had spoken with Ennis on Thursday morning before training to take him through some of the calls the team used.
"I've already spoken to him, obviously he needs to learn about the way we play and the calls and the structure," Farah said on Thursday afternoon.
"I'm there to help him as much as he needs to feel as comfortable as he can.
"It's about getting the results so if I'm not there he needs to be able to go out there and do the role the team needs him to do and I'll be the first one to help him.
"Before training I ran through some of the things we do in this team, the calls and the simple things. That's to be expected."
Farah laughed off suggestions of tensions between the pair, who jostled for the Blues hooking role for several years following Danny Buderus's move to England, until Farah nailed down the spot long-term with a mammoth 2012 series.
"We are one big family NSW and we are all here trying to get the result on Wednesday night, that is what it all comes down to and that is what we all want," he said.
Farah is hoping to play some role at training on Saturday after the side's Friday rest day and at this stage has not been given a deadline by Blues coach Laurie Daley to be able to train with the side.
"It would be important to do some training before such a big game. Coming into Game Two with my shoulder injury I felt it was important to train and one of the reasons I felt so confident going into the game was that I had had that week at training and I would like to do the same this time around."
As a hooker Farah said his hand strength is crucial as he would touch and pass the ball more than any other player in the side, while his grip strength while tackling would also be important.
"I need to be sure that I can do what I normally do and I can go out there and not let the boys down and continue to play my role for the team. It is one thing getting out there it is another performing to the best of my ability," he said.
"At this stage 'Loz' is giving me as much time as I need. There's no rush, we have a day off tomorrow which gives me another 48 hours until Saturday.
"I'll see how I am feeling that day and over the weekend and we will come up with a decision that is best for the team.
"I am a chance and if I didn't think I was a chance I wouldn't be up here. I wanted to get up here as quick as I could, which was why I went straight to the airport from hospital yesterday. It was disappointing that I couldn't get up here sooner, but I got here in the end and I would not have gone to those lengths if I didn't think I could play."
Video courtesy of nswrl.com.au