Former New South Wales Blues coach and current Canterbury Bulldogs director of football Phil Gould has questioned the decision to drop Nicho Hynes from the NSW Blues squad for Game 2 of the 2023 State of Origin series.

The Blues will hit Suncorp Stadium in a must-win position on Wednesday evening after dropping Game 1 to the Maroons at the Adelaide Oval on the final day of May.

Hynes was picked for Game 1 as the bench utility, but ultimately, there was little to no plan for the Dally M Medalist who has consistently been the best player in the game since his move to the Cronulla Sharks, where he became the club's halfback and guided the black, white and blue to the semi-finals in 2022.

He was ultimately only utilised for a handful of minutes in the centres during Game 1, with Hynes missing a key tackle and making no impact.

That, combined with the injury to Apisai Koroisau, has taken coach Brad Fittler a different way for Game 2, with Reece Robson picked as a specialist hooker on the bench instead of Hynes.

But Gould has been left not agreeing with the decision, telling Wide World of Sports Six Tackles with Gus podcast that he is concerned about the lack of a back-up half.

“They'll have a reason why they wanted to cover hooker on the bench on this occasion,” Gould said on Six Tackles with Gus podcast.

“I'm a bit worried we don't have a halves replacement. I would've pumped for Nicho Hynes on the bench.

“I think right at the moment that's the best place for Nicho Hynes, on the bench for NSW.

“It was just unfortunate in game one that he had to be used in probably the one position you didn't want to have to use him.

“He can certainly cover fullback, half, five-eighth, he could cover lock-forward, and I think he could cover dummy-half.

Nicho Hynes would've been my selection on the bench, but for some reason those internally thought they need the two-hooker model.”

Hynes, who can play in the halves, at fullback, or, according to Gould, at lock forward, was reportedly planned to spend time at dummy half in Game 1, but ultimately, Koroisau played the entire 80 minutes.