Hayne Plane spreads his wings among some of the Blues’ greats
THE Hayne Plane has flown in alongside two of NSW’s greatest.
Blues centre Jarryd Hayne will equal the number of NSW appearances set by Immortal Andrew Johns and the great Laurie Daley in the series decider tonight.
Johns and Daley played 23 matches in sky blue to be equal- fourth on the all- time list behind Brad Fittler ( 31), Andrew Ettingshausen ( 27) and Paul Gallen ( 24).
Hayne, who made his Blues debut in 2007, is on the next rung with former Steelers winger Rod Wishart at 22, ahead of Danny Buderus and Tim Brasher, who each played 21 Origins.
Hayne’s effort is especially significant given he missed the 2015 and 2016 Origin series while he was on his NFL adventure with the San Francisco 49ers.
“Jarryd came on the scene pretty young – 2007,” NSW coach Daley said. “It’s a great achievement and something I am sure he will be proud of.
“He has been a wonderful player for NSW.”
Should he remain fit and focused, the 29- year- old could break Fittler’s record.
“That would be up to Jarryd, it would depend on form,” Daley said.
“That’s three years away. A lot of things can happen between now and then.
“I don’t think he’s worried too much about that. It’s more about this game, to play well and give NSW a chance of winning.”
Hayne was heavily criticised after game two but has vowed to hit back in the decider.
“He made a few errors but he is a proud player,” Daley said. “I know he will bounce back to his best.
“He left the game and has taken a while to recapture his best but his last couple of weeks in club land have been really good.
“We’re expecting him to play really strongly for us.”
Hayne was part of the 2014 series win over Queensland and could secure his second Origin shield with a win at Suncorp Stadium.
Blues captain Boyd Cordner could be getting his hands on the shield tonight but when asked if he’d envisioned himself on the victory dais, he said: “You don’t want to think about it, but it’s hard not to.
“There’s a lot of work between now and 10.30 on Wednesday night.”