Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler has praised the leadership of Cameron McInnes and believes it is a quality that is vital to success in the State of Origin arena.
McInnes’ Dragons have now won two from four matches since the NRL resumed and it’s no surprise their change in form has coincided with the recent return of the St George Illawarra captain from a medial knee ligament injury.
McInnes has put together four consecutive 80-minute performances since his first game of the season in Round 3, sharing his time between the hooker and lock positions.
It began with a huge 75-tackle haul against the Warriors followed by 54, 52 and 47 tackles respectively. Even more impressive is the fact he has missed only two tackles in those four games.
“He’s been brilliant (in 2020 so far) and he’s become a real leader,” Fittler said.
Fittler added that McInnes’ role as club captain has brought him well and truly into the Origin frame, even drawing comparison to the great Queensland sides of the last decade which have been stacked full of leaders.
“It’s one of the first things we look at (in the New South Wales selection process).
“If you looked at a Queensland side they had so many captains in their team.
“That’s been part of the reason why in tight parts of a game they had more control than us, so you try and bring in a McInnes who can show really good control in an important part of a game.
“He’s been playing really well and putting a lot of pressure on everyone in front of him, but the most important part is they (the Dragons) have got to win.”
McInnes will be looking to build on St George Illawarra’s two-match unbeaten run with a tough assignment against reigning premiers the Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night.