Former Melbourne Storm, Sydney Roosters, Queensland Maroons and Australian Kangaroos champion halfback Cooper Cronk has revealed he would play Jarome Luai in the five-eighth role ahead of Nicho Hynes in the 2023 State of Origin series opener.

Luai comes into the series as the incumbent, having partnered Nathan Cleary over the last two years, with the 26-year-old taking his club combination to Origin level under the coaching of Brad Fittler.

While the 2021 series saw the Blues take out victory on the back of excellent performances from the backline, 2022 saw the Blues falter against a re-imagined Queensland side under the coaching of Cronk's former club and representative teammate, Billy Slater.

It was a series where Cleary and Luai failed to spark the Blues, however, speaking on Fox Sports' NRL 360, Cronk said Luai, on the basis of a club combination that also features Isaah Yeo as the starting lock, should be given a final chance ahead of Hynes - even if that is only for a single game.

“Im sticking with Luai. I'm just thinking that combination of Cleary, Yeo, Luai, it's stood up for a long time,” Cronk said on NRL 360 on Monday night.

“But Nicho Hynes could handle it if he's picked, he's a great player. I'd have no doubt that he would (handle) it.

“He (Luai) is aware of the pressure. He's aware of anything happening and if he falls over at the first game Nicho would come in, but I'd be sticking with Jarome and see how he goes.”

Hynes' form has seen a majority of calls for him to be selected in the halves alongside Cleary, with his running game able to see him easily transition into the number six jumper while also taking some of the game management off Cleary.

The star half, who led the Sharks to a preliminary final last year and won the Dally M Medal by a record margin during an incredible 2022 season, was selected in the Origin squad amongst Brad Fittler's reserves last year, but didn't make his debut.

The first match of the series, to be played in Adelaide on May 31, will see teams selected ten days before on Sunday, May 21 following the completion of Round 12 in the NRL.