SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 13: Damien Cook of the Rabbitohs runs the ball during the round 10 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on May 13, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Blues selector Greg Alexander has confirmed that a decision has been made on NSW’s starting hooker for the first game of the State of Origin series, claiming Round 12 performances would not affect the selection.

Alexander was asked on Fox League’s NRL360 on Wednesday if he and coach Brad Fittler had made a decision on their No.9 for Game One.

“Yes,” Alexander bluntly told Fox League.

The three favourites to start for the Blues at hooker are the Rabbitohs’ Damien Cook, the Sea Eagles’ Apisai Koroisau and the Dragons’ Cameron McInnes, which Alexander all addressed.

“Obviously Damien Cook has been (…) reading the paper, he’s been listening to what people are saying about players’ chances,” Alexander said.

“It has been a race in three since the start of the season.

“Now, Api Koroisau – I thought at the start of the season Api might’ve been ahead of both Cameron McInnes and Damien Cook. Api’s, I think, suffered a bit because Manly had that run of five losses and things weren’t working well.

“That doesn’t take away what Api Koroisau can bring to a team – I think he’s a great number nine – but McInnes and Cook have just continually lifted the bar and I thought they were both very good on the weekend.

“Damien Cook again was very good against the Cowboys and McInnes was good against the Raiders.”

Although a decision a decision appears to have been made on the No. 9, the Origin I team announcement will take place on Monday night.

 

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