A LETHAL ‘Snake’ is ready to add some much-needed venom to the NSW State of Origin side.
That is the word from one of rugby league’s greatest fullbacks, Graham Eadie,
who last night endorsed Manly star Brett Stewart to be handed the Blues’ No.1 jersey when the NSW State of Origin team is announced on Sunday night.
‘Wombat’ Eadie, who played for the Blues in the first Origin clash back in 1980, says the in-form Stewart has shown he is right for a recall to the interstate cauldron.
“I would have no problem putting Snake in there,” Eadie told the Manly Daily.
“He is getting better with every game since he has come back.
“Obviously his experience is a big plus and he would be very keen and ready to get involved.”
Eadie has enjoyed a close association with Stewart over a number of years and has acted as a mentor to him as he fought his way through some difficult and trying times.
As a result, nobody has taken greater delight in watching the player they call ‘Snake’ back in such deadly form.
“He has had two horrible years off the field and I think he deserves to get back into it,” Eadie said.
“When he first came back I thought he wasn’t stretching out, I thought he was having problems or he just wasn’t confident.
“But now he is getting through and making good yards every time he makes a break or half a break.”
Eadie has also been very impressed by Stewart’s defence, which earned special praise from coach Geoff Toovey after last Sunday’s win over Canberra.
“It was terrific, he put his body on the line, that’s for sure,” Eadie said.
The last time the pair caught up was at the Sea Eagles’ season launch when they had a long chat.
“I will give him a call this week and wish him all the best and hopefully he will get picked,” Eadie said.
The former Kangaroo is now based on the NSW northern rivers and is coaching the Mullumbimby first-grade side.
He plans to head up to Brisbane on Friday night to watch the showdown with the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium and see Stewart again after the game.