Luai ready to wear No.7 for NSW amid halves crisis

Jarome Luai has declared he is ready to step up and don the No.7 jersey for NSW as Nicho Hynes undergoes hastily-rearranged scans on his calf injury.

Facing a crisis in the halves and a long injury list, new Blues coach Michael Maguire is considering waiting until Monday to name his maiden squad ahead of the June 5 State of Origin series opener.

Hynes' calf tightness remains a lingering issue for the Blues, after the halfback failed to get through Cronulla's 42-0 NRL loss to Penrith on Saturday night.

AAP has been told scans on the Sharks No.7 were brought forward from Monday to Sunday, with results expected later on Sunday or Monday morning and Cronulla confident the issue was only tightness and not more serious.

Still, he would need to have his workload managed in camp, which could detract from Hynes' case for selection.

luai ready to wear no.7 for nsw amid halves crisis

Scans on Nicho Hynes' calf were brought forward. (Jason O'BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)

NSW are already without first-choice half Nathan Cleary for at least the first two Origin games, while Mitch Moses has not played since suffering a foot injury in March.

Luai now suddenly shapes as an option for NSW at No.7.

He has starred while filling in at halfback for Penrith in recent weeks, and was by far their best player in Saturday's flogging of the first-placed Sharks.

luai ready to wear no.7 for nsw amid halves crisis

Jarome Luai was Penrith's best in their win over Cronulla. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

Dropped by the Blues after he was sent off in Game II last year, Luai was an option for NSW at No.6 in this year's series.

But he could now be the man to control the team at halfback.

"I don't care (if I play six or seven)," Luai said.

"I just want that Blues jersey. I want my last name on my back again.

"I'm confident, I've always backed myself in any situation. A lot of good players are going to be picked in that side."

If Luai was to play No.7, that would likely leave former Penrith teammate Matt Burton at five-eighth.

Cody Walker would also be an option at No.6, with South Sydney officials adamant the calf issue that ruled him out of Saturday's win over Parramatta shouldn't cost him an Origin spot.

Luai, Burton and Walker are all left-side players, but the Penrith playmaker said he was more than capable of playing on the right.

"Yes sir (I can)," Luai said.

"All I've had to do at Penrith is take control of that left side. But I'm a team player, if they need me to play right, I'll play right.

"Nothing changes really.

"I'm obviously a left-footer so that's why I'm pretty comfortable on that left side in terms of kicking and stuff like that but I love a challenge."

The other left-field option for Maguire would be to bring Moses into the squad, after he played for the Blues in Cleary's absence last year.

The Parramatta No.7 has not played since breaking his foot on March 24, but is expected to be fit to return for the Eels next week.

Interim Eels coach Trent Barrett said on Saturday night Moses was capable of it, but conceded it would be a tough ask given he has not completed a full week of training.

luai ready to wear no.7 for nsw amid halves crisis

A left-field option for NSW would be to take a chance on Eels star Mitch Moses. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

NSW also have other concerns, with second-rower Liam Martin sent for scans on his hamstring on Sunday morning.

In better news for the Blues, Latrell Mitchell has avoided a ban for a hip-drop tackle on Eel Sean Russell and is available to be picked at left centre.

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