David Klemmer has thrown his support behind nib Newcastle Knights teammate Daniel Saifiti to earn a New South Wales State of Origin call-up.
With the forwarded sidelined with a wrist injury, the Blues have a vacancy in the front row for game two of the series.
According to Klemmer, 23-year-old is capable of filling the void.
“He was awesome. I’m surprised that he’s not being talked about for Origin,” Klemmer said.
“What he’s done defensively and the way he’s changed his game – he’s been awesome.
“He’s going to be great for us over the next couple of years. The next couple of weeks he’ll stand up and show everybody what he’s about.
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“He’s a great footballer and going really well.”
When asked if Saifiti possesses the qualities to make it as an Origin player, Klemmer replied without hesitation.
“Definitely. He’s mentally tough,” he said.
“He’s a strong player. Watch the last six weeks and he’s a big reason of why we got off to a good start. He wouldn’t look out of place in an Origin jersey.
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“… I reckon he’s ready.”
Klemmer fractured his wrist in Origin I but the prop had no idea he did the injury until late the next day.
It wasn’t until he attempted to do some push-ups that he realised he needed to go for a scan.
After speaking with specialists, the enforcer won’t need surgery but does have his hand in a brace.
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The injury will see him miss at least another couple of weeks which means he’ll be a spectator for Saturday’s blockbuster against Melbourne at AAMI Park.
“They’re a quality side,” Klemmer said of the Storm.
“They’re a great club and they’ve got some great players there. The boys played pretty well on Friday but we can’t hang our hat on that yet. We’ve got to keep backing those performances up.
“Going down there is going to be a good test for us to see where we’re at. I’m excited to watch the boys. We have to go to another level against Melbourne, especially down there.”
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Speaking to the media at the unveiling of the Got Your Back Sista and nib Round 17 match day partnership announcement, Klemmer has also thrown his weight behind Mitchell Pearce.
Pearce was unavailable for Origin I due to a groin injury but is fully fit ahead of the July 23 clash in Perth.
“Mitchell is an outstanding footballer,” Klemmer said.
“He’s a great role model for our club and a great captain.
“He had a niggle and didn’t get to play.
“If he’s in contention, I hope he gets picked because he’s been playing some outstanding football.”