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Peachey best NRL forward in making: Gallen

NSW captain Paul Gallen has predicted the Penrith Panther who put Will Hopoate's State of Origin position in jeopardy will emerge into the best attacking back-rower in the NRL.
Peachey best NRL forward in making: Gallen
by AAP

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, June 5 AAP - NSW captain Paul Gallen has predicted the Penrith Panther who put Will Hopoate's State of Origin position in jeopardy will emerge into the best attacking back-rower in the NRL.

When Panthers recruit Tyrone Peachey left Hopoate for dead not once but twice last Friday night, doubts emerged about the Parramatta centre's ability to successfully contain Queensland superstar Greg Inglis in Origin II.

But Gallen sees the situation very differently.

Rather than question Hopoate's standing as first choice to come in at centre for the Blues, Gallen says Peachey's electric double was proof that the Panthers have a star in the making in their pack.

Peachey showed flashes of brilliance alongside Gallen at Cronulla last year, but headed to the Panthers for a better opportunity.

Despite his lack of size, Peachey's Friday night masterclass against the Eels highlighted his rare speed and footwork for a forward.

It's not the same loping stride as his famous uncle David Peachey, but the 22-year-old's shuffle will be putting fear into right-side defences in years to come.

Gallen believes the Blues should show faith in Hopoate for his proven ability in big games and says he won't be the last outside back shown up by a strike-weapon on the rise.

"Tyrone Peachey has the ability to make people do that. He's been a bit quiet at Penrith (until last week) but he has an attacking ability like no other back-rower has in the competition," said Gallen.

"He had one of those games last week where he really shone and, unfortunately, it was against Hoppa who is in the spotlight at the moment.

"Peach has a great ability to make people look silly."

Gallen gave his body up for art on Thursday, transformed into looking like movie character RoboCop for the film's blu-ray release.

But despite being covered in paint, the Origin lock has game two firmly on his mind, confident his neck injury won't keep him out any longer than this weekend for Cronulla. Gallen has endorsed Hopoate for a place on the NSW right edge, with Morris brothers Josh and Brett both ruled out of the Sydney match with injury.

Hopoate had one off night last week, but Gallen said NSW teammates would have full confidence in the 22-year-old to succeed in the centre hot seat.

"Everyone has been raving about him and then he's had one game where he wasn't happy and everyone's been giving it to him," said Gallen.

"If he gets picked, I'll be more than comfortable.

"He's played grand finals and Origin before. You only have to go back to that Origin he played (2011) and that try he scored in the corner. Not many guys can score that."




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