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Fittler faces embarrassment of riches at No.14

The Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues had “an embarrassment of riches” when it came to selecting a versatile No.14 for this year’s Ampol State of Origin series, according to True Blue Paul Langmack.

The incumbent Jack Wighton is showing his value for the Canberra Raiders with the type of form that earned him the 2020 Dally M Medal.

He’s scored two tries in four games, put teammates through gaps, busted out of 17 tackles so far, and runs an average 110 metres per game

Then there’s Cronulla-Sutherland new recruit Nicho Hynes, who has been front and centre for the Sharks three wins in a row to start 2022 with his try assists and conversions.

Don’t forget Melbourne’s Ryan Papenhuyzen – the four-try hero for the Storm last round, who like Hynes is also a handy goalkicker.

Langmack told Behind Blue Eyes for nswrl.com.au the talent of that trio – all capable fullbacks and halves – would make the utility bench position a selection headache for Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler.

“With Papenhuyzen you can’t substitute speed - you’re born with it,” Langmack said.

“He’s fast and he has great anticipation.

“If you’re a footballer you can play in any position and I think he could do it.

“Nicho Hynes is the same – they’re both footballers. And footballers can adapt to whatever position they’re thrown into, and to do it at the highest level.”

Wighton has played nine times (2019-21) for the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues, while Papenhuyzen (2020) and Hynes (2021) have both been named on extended Blues benches and are yet to make their Origin debuts.

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