Calf issue casts fresh doubt on Hynes’ Origin hopes

Calf issue casts fresh doubt on Hynes’ Origin hopes

Nicho Hynes’ State of Origin hopes are in fresh doubt after he reported calf tightness playing for Cronulla the day before NSW names its team for game one.

The presumptive Blues halfback hobbled to his feet just before halftime in Saturday night’s clash with Penrith, having copped Isaah Yeo’s knee in his head.

Hynes passed his head injury assessment but remained off the field to rest the calf that has troubled him in recent weeks.

Coach Craig Fitzgibbon is expected to provide an update on Hynes’ condition at fulltime.

Hynes missed the round-10 defeat of Melbourne with his calf issue, though managed to return to star in the win over the Sydney Roosters a week later – albeit with some discomfort reported at full-time.

With Nathan Cleary, Mitch Moses and Adam Reynolds all injured themselves, in-form Hynes appeared assured of starting at halfback for the Blues at Accor Stadium on June 5.

But he endured a tough night before leaving the field on Saturday and now faces the prospect of a race against the clock.

If Hynes is unavailable for Origin I, coach Michael Maguire could look to seven-time Blues five-eighth Jarome Luai, who has been playing halfback effectively for Penrith in recent weeks.

Canterbury’s Matt Burton could also be switched to halfback from five-eighth, while Chad Townsend, Luke Brooks and Luke Keary are out-of-the-box options.