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All Stars no Origin audition, says Daley
Joe Barton
12:20 AEST Sat Jan 19 2013

Laurie Daley isn't yet ready to pin his debut State of Origin coaching series on rookie halfback Adam Reynolds, warning the young South Sydney star he will be targeted more heavily during his second NRL season.

Reynolds, the 2012 rookie of the year, shot into representative calculations after guiding the Rabbitohs to the preliminary final last season - and is already putting pressure on incumbent No.7 Mitchell Pearce for the chief playmaking role.

The 22-year-old will play in next month's All Stars clash alongside Wests Tigers superstar Benji Marshall and is aiming to use that game as a platform to push his case for higher honours.

But Daley, who made his NSW debut as a 19-year-old in 1989, attempted to douse the expectation being heaped onto the youngster, admitting there were plenty of hurdles to overcome before he is awarded a sky blue jersey.

"You don't want to put any pressure on young boys and things will unfold along the way," Daley said on Saturday.

"At this stage I'm more than happy with the way he's going. A ball hasn't been kicked yet.

"He needs to be aware that he'll be more of a target this year, obviously."

Reynolds will spend this weekend in camp with the Emerging Blues squad, training under the guidance of Daley and his support staff, which boasts champion Blues halves Brad Fittler and Trent Barrett.

Queensland and Australian halfback Cooper Cronk this week said Reynolds could take ownership of the Blues halfback role with a standout performance in the All Stars clash but Daley was quick to point out the great leap in quality that State of Origin requires.

"There's a long way between All Stars and State of Origin. They're completely different games," Daley, also coach of the Indigenous All Stars, said.

"... but it gives Adam a great opportunity to go into a camp in a short space of time, to work with a lot of very talented players.

"If you get to play Origin that's what you're doing ... It will give him a better appreciation of what it's like to play in big games.

"If we call upon Adam at some particular stage hopefully that will be a benefit to him.

Reynolds joined some of NSW's hottest young talents in the three-day camp, including rising stars Tariq Sims, Boyd Cordner and Josh Reynolds as well as several with prior Origin experience such as Josh Dugan and Jamal Idris.

Idris endured a torturous 2012 in which he battled hamstring injuries and faced constant criticism over his fitness levels, but the 22-year-old said his goal was to add to his one Blues jersey - and Daley was clearly impressed with what he saw.

Looking nothing like the player who drew headlines last year for a growing waistline, Idris cut a mean figure as players went through their paces at Redfern Oval.

"He looks as fit as I've seen, Jamal," Daley said.

"I think he's been disappointed with the way it's panned out over the last 12 months with injuries and it took him a little bit of time to settle in with the Gold Coast.

"But he's loving life at the moment ... that's a good sign for me."


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