True Blue Jamie Soward has nominated in-form Parramatta Eels back-rower Ryan Matterson as a worthy candidate for selection in the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues for the fast-approaching 2022 Ampol State of Origin series.
Matterson was part of the extended squad in 2019 but is yet to make his debut for his state. He has been in great touch for the Eels this year after playing eight games for three tries, three line breaks, 16 offloads and 159 run metres per game.
Fittler will name his team for the opening game of the series at Accor Stadium on 8 June after the completion of Round 12. The NSW coach is on the lookout for forwards with South Sydney’s Cameron Murray (shoulder) and Sydney Roosters Victor Radley (ankle) both injured.
Matterson has been making an impact off the bench for the Eels but has been named at lock for tomorrow night's match against Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at CommBank Stadium.
“I know he was involved in the squad a couple of years ago and I think the best footy Ryan has played this year has been carefree not over-thinking it,” Soward told Behind Blue Eyes for nswrl.com.au.
“He’s just going out there, doing the little things and getting those opportunities so he could be an option in the back-row.
“I know ‘Freddy’ has got a few headaches there in trying to select with maybe Angus Crichton coming back into that role.
“Ryan Matterson is probably playing the best footy I have seen him play in the past couple of years and his utility value as well. You need to be able to have guys who can maybe play in the centres or five-eighth.”
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