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Menzies says 'Turbo' must be picked

True Blue Steve Menzies is mystified by the dialogue around Manly Warringah Sea Eagles fullback Tom Trbojevic not being fit or fast enough for the Westpac NSW Blues side for Origin I in Adelaide on 31 May.

Trbojevic, who missed last year’s series with a shoulder injury, has had issues with hamstring and groin niggles this season but has still played eight out of nine NRL games (Manly had a bye in Round Two).

“I think he’s building; he’s one of those players that can play off a shorter preparation,” Menzies told Behind Blue Eyes for

“He’s just a Rugby League player. If I was picking the team… you’ve got to pick him somewhere.”

Trbojevic, who was part of the NSW teams that won consecutive series in 2018-19 as well as the record-breaking 2021 side, has scored nine tries in eight games for the Blues.

He also missed the entire 2020 series (as well as 2022) through injury but in between there was a remarkable 2021 season (18 NRL games and 28 tries) where he was unstoppable. He won the Dally M Medal, RLPA Players’ Champion awards, the Brad Fittler Medal, and the Wally Lewis Medal.

For the 2021 Origin series, Trbojevic scored four tries in three games at centre.

Menzies wants him back there because “he’s played amazingly in the centres previously”.

“He knows where to be, he can get involved, because sometimes centres can get stuck on the edges but Tommy keeps popping up,” he said.

“In defence he’s an asset. You’ve got to have him in there.”

Menzies told Behind Blue Eyes he didn’t think there would be many debutants in either the Blues or the Maroons but one new face he would pick for NSW would be Trbojevic’s Manly teammate Haumole Olakau’atu, who plays his 60th NRL game this weekend.

“His skills, his level, his size… I like everything he’s done for the Sea Eagles – they’re not travelling as well as they’d like to,” he said.

“But (Origin) is the next level, the next step for someone like him. I’d love to see him out there.”

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