If you’re going to Glen Willow on Sunday you won’t just see the Dragons battle the Raiders, you’ll witness the most important hit-out to date for potential NSW Blues players.
Overlooking the crucial contest will be NSW assistant Danny Buderus who notched 24 caps for the Blues and is part of Fox Sports’ commentary team for Sunday’s game.
It just so happens that Mudgee’s St George Illawarra Dragons boast an exciting group of NSW hopefuls but none have been spoken about more than 24-year-old hooker Cameron McInnes.
McInnes is duking it out with Damien Cook for the number nine role and Buderus weighed on the 2018 campaign he’s had so far.
“All the players have been consistent at St George but with Cam (McInnes) especially, he’s whole-hearted in the middle third,” Buderus said.
“His defence, attitude and the way he gets out of dummy half is exciting a lot of Dragons fans.”
Not only does the Hurstville product fit the bill from a stylistic standpoint, but Buderus endorsed his competitiveness – the number one trait he and Fittler are looking for.
“We need competitors in every aspect of the game. Players who want to win every battle, with or without the ball,” he said.
'Bedsy' kept his Origin cards close to his chest but stressed the importance of having a fill-in hooker on the bench. “You’ve got to have all your bases covered and you need to take the HIA into account (Head Injury Assessment),” he said.
“You need someone on your bench who can play back row and centre and you also need someone who can play hooker – if they have to.
With the first State of Origin game in just two weeks, Sunday’s match is crucial for not only Cam McInnes, but any player who wants to represent their state on June 6.