NSW's captain Boyd Cordner.
NSW's captain Boyd Cordner.

‘Sims is going better’: Shock as Blues skipper suddenly in doubt

NSW skipper Boyd Cordner is suddenly under pressure to keep the captaincy and even his spot in the Blues side, as former coach Phil Gould questions his impact at Origin level.

At the start of April, new Blues coach Brad Fittler declared Cordner's position was the only one he had written in pen, and said the other 16 jumpers were all up for grabs.

But now - a week out from the team being named - Gould says the incumbent captain is in danger of being axed altogether.

NSW legend Mark Gasnier also punted Cordner from the captaincy when he picked his ideal Origin I line-up for foxsports.com.au.

Gould was highly critical of Cordner's form of late when speaking on Channel Nine's 100% Footy.

And the former Blues coach even questioned Cordner's impact at Origin level over his entire career.



"I just don't think he's going good enough, and I've always questioned his impact at that level as well," Gould said.

"For me, Boyd Cordner's football has stagnated over the past two or three years.

"He runs the one line, at the one time, every time. There's nothing varied about his play, he never passes the ball.

"He's willing, he's got a great constitution, he's got a great work ethic, he's very popular among the playing group … but as far as a game breaker and someone who in Origin can provide that moment that might win you a game, I don't think he's going that well at the moment.

"Tariq Sims is going by far the better."

Queensland selector Darren Lockyer agreed with Gould on the point of Cordner's form at NRL level.

And he said the Maroons wouldn't be surprised if NSW left Cordner off the teamsheet for game one.

Boyd Cordner of the NSW Blues.
Boyd Cordner of the NSW Blues.

"I tend to agree with Gus, I think he's not going as well as he once was," Lockyer said.

"He can inspire a team with his toughness but I don't know whether he's threatening enough on the edge.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they omit him. He might be in the team but they might not make him captain."

Cordner's former Blues teammate Paul Gallen defended the incumbent captain of the team.

He disagreed with Gould that Sims would be a better option for NSW, and backed Cordner to shine once he pulls on a Blues jersey.

"I don't think he started the season that well either, and I thought it was he came back from the World Cup really late and probably never had a good pre-season under his belt," Gallen said.

"I thought the first half a dozen games of the season he wasn't at his best, but he's certainly picked his game up a lot.

"Coming into Origin time I think he'll be ready.

"I still think you need some experience there, some guys who have been there and know what it's all about, and he's one of them."