Bellamy backs Munster for Maroons
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy believes Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster deserves to wear the No.6 jersey come Game Three of the 2017 Holden State of Origin Series.
Bellamy's comments come after Munster starred for the Storm in their 42-12 defeat of the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night, with the 22-year-old putting together the ultimate Maroons audition in front of Queensland coach Kevin Walters who was commentating for Fox League.
Munster ran for 111 metres, had a hand in two tries and made a line break, comprehensively outplaying fellow Queensland hopeful Ben Hunt.
With Johnathan Thurston out for the season, the Maroons need a new five-eighth and for Bellamy the choice is simple.
"For next week I honestly believe his best position is at six. But having said that, they have a few options," Bellamy said.
"Obviously Michael Morgan is on the bench and I'm not trying to tell Queensland what they should be doing but Morgan has done a great job in that position.
"It becomes a question of whether you want to move him away from that position.
"I think if we are just looking at whether Cameron is better in the centres or at five-eighth then I'd say five-eighth.
"He's a real footy player and he won't let you down wherever you put him."
With Darius Boyd also out of Game Three, Munster could easily slot into the centres if Walters decides that is what is best for the side.
But it is a position he has started in just once in his 57 games of NRL and the upside of having Munster in the halves may just be too large for Walters to ignore.
If Munster starts at five-eighth then Queensland will have Melbourne's spine as their own, with fullback Billy Slater, halfback Cooper Cronk and hooker Cameron Smith all pencilled in for Game Three.
It is cohesion that could be the difference in the decider and Smith would love to have his teammate get his shot at Origin glory at five-eighth.
"There is no doubt that with JT not being there now it would be pretty handy having Cameron [Munster] there alongside Cooper, Billy and myself in a decider," Smith said.
After being named 18th man for Queensland in Game Two, Munster has been as close to Origin as one can be without make their debut.
The stage is set for the North Knights junior to compete on the highest stage and he has been given the tick of approval from his captain.
"I think he's most certainly up to playing Origin," Smith said.
"He's a tough kid and I'm most impressed by the fact that no matter where he plays he always knows what his role is and gets the job done.
"He understands the role every position has in a side and he always knows where he needs to be with the football and where he needs to be defensively.
"He's just a guy that understands the game.
"I'm not sure whether he gets an opportunity next week, but he certainly didn't do his chances any harm on Friday night. He was very good."