New South Wales should consider Dale Finucane for selection in the 2017 State of Origin series.
Following the retirement of Paul Gallen from representative football and the departure of Greg Bird to Super League side Catalan Dragons, an opportunity has now opened up in the Blues line up.
The pair have occupied the lock position in 18 of the last 20 Origin games for NSW.
However Gallen and Bird will be unavailable for coach Laurie Daley next year, making the prospect of Finucane receiving a debut call up increasingly likely.
Considered by many to be ‘built for Origin’, Finucane played every game for Melbourne in 2016, forming a crucial part of Storm’s forward pack which lead the team to the Minor Premiership.
Finucane ranked second at the Club behind Cameron Smith and 10th in the NRL for total tackles, averaging 34 per game.
He only enhanced his reputation as one of the toughest players in rugby league when he overcame an ankle injury to be among Storm’s best during this year’s finals series.
Finucane was a standout performer in the City v Country game this year and as he enters the prime of his career there will not be a better time for NSW to select the Storm hard man.
Tyson Frizell shapes as his biggest competition after the Dragons’ lock played in the No.13 for the Blues in Game Three this year.
There are around eight months between now and the start of the 2017 State of Origin series.
There is still much to play out between now and then but if Finucane continues on the same path, it will be hard for NSW selectors not to make a phone call his way.