Dyldam Parramatta Eels centre says it’s a case of the more fullbacks the better for the NSW Blues side as they prepare for the next game of the 2014 Holden State of Origin series.
Returning to Sydney for Game 2 in front of a home crowd at ANZ Stadium, Hayne says Josh Dugan and his teammate Will Hopoate will have plenty to offer as they fill the boots of the Morris twins on the Blues’ right edge.
While both have pulled on the sky blue jersey before, between them Hopoate and Dugan have a total of onle 5 Origin games' experience.
“They’re booth footballer-minded,” Hayne said.
“And they’re both ex-fullbacks as well: fullbacks, we do a lot of work and anticipate the play a lot.”
In Hopoate’s case, it also caps off a remarkable start to the season after spending two years out of the NRL on his Mormon mission.
“It’s good to see him come back and what a great comeback it’s been,” Hayne said.
“I think it’s about 10 games he’s played now, and it’s a credit to him and his hard work.”
The NSW Blues are yet to see which 17 Maroons they’ll have to take on in next Wednesday’s clash, but one of the Queenslanders in contention is Eels centre and Cherbourg junior, Willie Tonga.
If Maroons Head Coach Mal Meninga names Tonga in his starting side, it will be his Origin appearance since 2011.
“‘Willie T’s another bloke that’s worked hard,” Hayne said.
“Him being older and having a lot of setbacks, he’s fought back and worked hard to get where he is today.”