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Lyon backs away from five-eighth role
By Steve Jancetic
19:30 AEST Wed May 12 2010

NSW's plans to throw Manly skipper Jamie Lyon into the five-eighth hot seat for Origin I hit an unexpected snag on Wednesday when the man himself admitted he thought of himself as "more of a centre."

Lyon, who won a Test recall in the centres for last week's international against New Zealand, had firmed into favouritism to wear the sky blue No.6 jumper on May 26.

However, his apparent reluctance to assume the playmaking reins has left Blues selectors back at square one just five days out from the naming of the game one side.

"I think I am more of a centre," Lyon said when asked about playing five-eighth for NSW.

"I have played most of my football there and I am more comfortable there.

"I class myself as a centre."

It is believed NSW coach Craig Bellamy had wanted Lyon picked at five-eighth for Country Origin to see how he would combine with likely NSW halfback Brett Kimmorley, but those plans were cast aside when Lyon was selected in the Test side.

The two men who shared five-eighth duties against City - Greg Bird and Todd Carney - both failed to fire, leading to speculation Bellamy would take a punt on Lyon at second receiver, the position he filled when Manly won the premiership in 2008.

Others have called for the Blues to go back to the future in selecting their No.6, with former NSW great Andrew Johns suggesting Melbourne veteran Brett Finch be given the nod and Peter Sterling believing Terry Campese, the NSW five-eighth in last year's series opener, should be given another chance.

"He didn't play poorly, just lacked involvement," Sterling said on NRL.com of Campese's Origin debut.

"He's an attacking-minded player who defends well and has a prodigious boot."

Lyon said he was confident the Blues could end Queensland's run of success no matter who was named at pivot.

"Every year NSW is definitely a chance," Lyon said.

"We just haven't gone on with it but the gap is getting closer and the players are more confident.

"Hopefully this is the year."