He stands alone as the most inspirational hooker to ever play Origin for New South Wales and now Danny Buderus believes it is time Eels No.9 Nathan Peats is handed his first Blues jersey.
Troubled by injuries since joining the Eels from the Rabbitohs in 2014, Peats came back from a broken neck last season by making 60 tackles in Round 1 against the Broncos but then suffered a dislocated elbow in Parramatta's Round 2 win over the Cowboys.
In his first game in a month he racked up another 40 tackles and ran for 90 metres in an 80-minute performance against the Raiders last Saturday and Buderus says in this week's issue of Big League that he has 'Origin mentality' coursing through his game.
"Our elite No.9s – Robbie Farah and Michael Ennis – are both in their early 30s and have given fantastic service to the blue jersey, but within the next two years there will be a changing of the guard," Buderus tells Big League.
"In my opinion, Nathan Peats has the right Origin mentality.
"You have to have a specific kind of player in the Origin arena and Peats has the right defensive mindset. He plays tough and he's a competitor, regardless of the situation, which is why he was the only hooker named in the Emerging Origin squad at the beginning of the year."
The development pathways that proved to be so critical in Queensland's current era of dominance has been replicated by the Blues hierarchy with Farah and former Blues skipper Brad Fittler overseeing a 'Blues in Waiting' camp for 16 and 18-year-olds in Narrabeen this week.
Buderus believes that it is by identifying talent early and encouraging a familiarity amongst emerging players that the Blues can hope to create a dynasty of their own in the coming years.
"It's a good way for the players to become familiar with one another as they move through the grades and potentially into the NRL," Buderus says.
"The program was started by Ricky Stuart and is a good initiative to have, and one that will pay dividends as we begin to plan for life after Farah and Ennis.
"The way that Queensland brought in Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk was masterful. The cohesion and clarity they've shown time and time again has been vital to their success and a similar move needs to be considered for the Blues' spine.
"It's not likely to happen this year because we need to win a Series, but it’s about building for the future and sustaining long-term success."
The Round 7 issue of Big League is on sale at newsagents and at the ground. Digital version also available through iTunes, Google Play and at www.zinio.com.