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Experts' view: Who'll be the NSW lock for Origin

As far options go, there are two positions where the Blues have the most depth heading into the Ampol State of Origin series - fullback and lock.

With regards to the men that lock the scrum, injury is the only thing preventing NSW from having six legitimate options.

Isaah Yeo, Victor Radley and Cameron Murray probably lead the way right now, but let's not forget the proven deeds of Jake Trbojevic and Dale Finucane and the raw energy of Nathan Brown.

The experts at have had their say on who they think will wear the No.13 jersey in the opening match of the 2021 series.

Experts' view - Who'll be NSW lock for Origin series opener?

Steve Renouf (Maroons legend)

I think Jake Trbojevic will be the starting lock. They can’t do without the experience and leadership that he brings to a team. Cam Murray will definitely get a bench spot as he can play when needed in numerous positions.

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Brett Kimmorley (Former Test halfback)

Isaah Yeo. He got a taste of it last year, has won eight-from-eight this year and has a great combination with the No.7 and potential No.6 for the Blues. Victor Radley seems a special for the bench.

Jamie Soward (2010 premiership winner)

Isaah Yeo should be the lock for NSW. His combination with Cleary and Luai would be exciting to watch and would prove a real threat plus he has turned into one of the toughest smartest backrowers in the comp.

Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers great)

Cameron Murray if fit, if not then Victor Radley. Both offer plenty of speed in the middle of the field, have great footwork and are very reliable defenders.

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Mary Konstantopoulos (Ladies Who League) 

The Blues have no shortage of options for the lock position this year, but my selection is Cameron Murray. Murray is such an exciting player and is part of the new generation of locks who play almost like another five-eighth. 

Brad Walter ( senior reporter)

Cameron Murray would be my choice to start at lock if fit, with Jake Trbojevic and Victor Radley to play off the bench. Trbojevic can also fill the front-row role if needed, while Radley can cover hooker.

Paul Suttor ( editor)

The Blues need a hard head in the No.13 jersey - someone who's going to do the grunt work with a minimum of fuss. Dale Finucane is just the kind of player that fits that bill. He's a bit underdone due to his calf problems and if his fitness is not up to scratch then Nathan Brown could do a similar job.

Alicia Newton ( reporter)

Penrith co-captain Isaah Yeo should be the front runner with his second phase ability for Nathan Cleary coming into play. Yeo was pushed out into the centres in Origin III and is capable of playing anywhere. Victor Radley should also be in the mix. 

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Dan Walsh ( reporter)

Isaah Yeo. His combination with Penrith teammates Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai is the cherry on top of Yeo’s career-best form and two impressive Origin outings last year. I would have Victor Radley in the 17 somewhere.

Zac Bailey ( reporter)

"She'll be jake," my great grandfather told his wife as he headed out on a fishing trip in his tinny while a 12-foot swell hammered into Avalon Beach. NSW coach Brad Fittler should take the same advice and select Jake Trbojevic in the number 13 jersey for the Blues. Trbojevic is a known quantity for NSW - a fearsome competitor.

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Chris Kennedy ( reporter)

Isaah Yeo. The Panther is in imperious form and is close to the most underrated player in the NRL right now. His combination with Nathan Cleary and possible Blues five-eighth Jarome Luai is invaluable and he plays a critical linking role for Penrith. Cam Murray will be on the bench if fit.

Paul Zalunardo ( senior journalist)

Victor Radley looks the ideal option for State of Origin. He loves the tough stuff but also has a range of skills that should transfer well. He has the added benefit of being able to fill in at hooker if injury strikes. Jake Trbojevic is a perfect option for an adaptable forward coming off the interchange bench.

Troy Whittaker ( reporter)

Penrith’s Isaah Yeo keeps elevating his game and after experiencing State of Origin off the bench last year, he’s ready to start. Jake Trbojevic should stay in the squad as a middle forward while Victor Radley and Nathan Brown could fight it out for bench spots.

Lone Scout ( Fantasy guru)

With Cameron Murray coming off an injury and Jake Trbojevic not as effective as he once was, I’d lean into the Panthers connection with Isaah Yeo linking up with his club co-captain Nathan Cleary. Yeo took a leap last season and is an underrated attacking threat in the middle of the park. 

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Martin Lenehan ( senior journalist)

Jake Trbojevic has played every game since 2017 for NSW and has the perfect temperament for the Origin pressure cooker. He gets through a power of work in defence and knows what it takes to succeed at this level.

Kenny Scott ( podcaster)

The way things are going, it is likely the Tom Trbojevic will be getting a start, so that means that it’s almost mandatory to pick Jake Trbojevic at lock. Outside of his experience and rock-solid defence, his best-attacking weapon is to know when his brother needs the ball.


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The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARL Commission, NRL clubs or state associations.

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