Michael Maguire rejects concerns over Nicho Hynes’s fitness and form ahead of Origin opener

A defiant Michael Maguire has rejected concerns over Nicho Hynes’s State of Origin build-up, declaring the halfback’s 2023 NSW debut ancient history and insisting the Cronulla star is fully fit.

Hynes goes into tomorrow night’s series opener as the most scrutinised player in either team, with his tight right calf forcing a managed start to life as Blues No.7 in camp last week.

NSW is confident Hynes will be able to perform normal in-play kicking duties, as well as take shots at goal.

Blues coach Maguire allayed any concerns on Tuesday, labelling Hynes 100 per cent fit and stating he was proud of the halfback’s preparations.

Of equal importance for NSW will be the player’s form.

Hynes’s recent form with the Sharks has raised doubts about his spot in NSW’s Origin line-up.(Getty Images: Hannah Peters)

The 27-year-old has made no secret of the demons created by last year’s Origin debut, when he came on at centre in game one, missed a tackle and was subsequently dropped.

Adding to the pressure, Mitch Moses is also fit again — and lurking in the background to push for the Blues’ No.7 jersey.

But Maguire was adamant last year’s events would no longer be on the Cronulla star’s mind.

“That’s history,” Maguire said.

“You’re thrown into the deep end in a quick game, it’s moving. If anything, it’s a great experience for him.

“Everyone faces a little bit [of adversity] in their career and he’s no different.

“He’s prepared really well. And he knows his role coming into this game. So I don’t look at [last year].”

A horror night

More recent history is also notable.

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