Monday 11 December 2017 / 01:23 PM

SIX UP THE MIDDLE: THE BLUES DON’T NEED GALLEN

Paul Gallen may be one of New South Wales’ fiercest warriors but Laurie Daley should avoid the phone call asking for the former skipper to step out of retirement. Here are the six reasons why:

Backrower Depth

The Blues are chock full of backrow depth. Boyd Cordner, Josh Jackson, Trent Merrin, Wade Graham and Tyson Frizell are the present and the future of the Blues. They must be handed the reins.

History

While Gallen captained the Blues to their drought-busting victory in 2014, he was part of losing series after losing series. It is time to draw a line in the sand and look to the future.

Captaincy

Paul Gallen took over the captaincy in 2011 and went on to become the Blues’ second-longest serving captain. That netted just a single series victory. A change in leadership – likely Boyd Cordner – tells the young brigade it is time to take ownership of the side.

Involvement

There was never a criticism that Paul Gallen was a wallflower. He involved himself at every opportunity – sometimes to the detriment of the team. His absence gives the rest of the squad room to grow.

Age

If Gallen were to play this year he would be 35, the oldest player in NSW Origin history. The Blues need to look to the future, not hang onto the past.

Personality

Paul Gallen is a force, a dominant personality who puts himself front and centre at every battle. That has created unnecessary tension in the past while it has forged the Blues’ identity. After so much losing, the Blues simply need a new identity.

[YouTube – brayden c]

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About the author

Nick Tedeschi

You will not find a more passionate rugby league man than Nick, whose Making The Nut column has garnered a huge cult following over the last decade. The Sydney-based raconteur co-authored The Book of NRL Lists with CBS stablemate WILL EVANS in 2014 and has penned several other books; he joined the CBS team with his weekly Six Up The Middle feature in 2016.

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