Brad Fittler backs Haumole Olakau’atu for State of Origin NSW Blues call-up

Former Blues coach Brad Fittler has backed Manly enforcer Haumole Olakau’atu to make his State of Origin debut in game one.

Having been on the fringes of selection last season, Sea Eagles coach Anthony Seibold has turned Olakau’atu into one of the form second-rowers of 2024.

Fittler said in March Olakau’atu nearly got the phone call last year, before Manly’s form dipped at exactly the wrong time.

AS IT HAPPENED: NRL Round 12 Friday

READ MORE: ‘Desperation tackle’ lands Maroons veteran in hot water

READ MORE: ‘Not up to NRL standard’: Joey rips sloppy Storm

But Fittler believes now is the time.

“A real weapon – just put him onto a halfback,” he said on Nine’s post-game coverage of Manly’s thrilling win over the Storm.

“He is so hard to tackle one-on-one … he just looks a nightmare to tackle.”

Against the Storm, he made seven runs for 52 metres, but also made 25 tackles for only one miss.

But Fittler said he wasn’t just “big hits and big contact”, but was a player who had gone away and worked on their game to be able to put in big efforts week in, week out.

“Speaking to him and coaching staff around him (over) the last couple of years about his repeat efforts, there’s no problem anymore,” Fittler explained.

Watch the 2024 NRL premiership live and free on Nine and 9Now.

“He’s gone and trained hard, he’s fit, getting back on side, coming off the line, doing it regularly.

“He plays 80 minutes all the time now so he’s obviously gone away, corrected that part of his game and he is ready to go.

“There’s no way they’ll be playing without him.”

The Blues squad is expected to be announced on Monday morning, but may also be released on Sunday night.

Manly are one of seven clubs with a bye next weekend, and will meet the Panthers after Origin.

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Verve Times is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a Comment