Mbye in prime of career, bound for Origin again: Qld legend
RUGBY LEAGUE: State of Origin legend Billy Moore believes Noosa’s Moses Mbye is in the prime of his career and should don Maroon again this year after impressing in his maiden series.
The ex-Queensland backrower turned commentator expected the 26-year-old to have a bumper season with Wests, capped with representative honours.
“He had a taste (of Origin) last year and acquitted himself well,” Moore said,
“He’s a very good player in the centres and that’s where we’re a bit light on.
“Moses is definitely a possibility of getting a spot, if not a centre spot, then a utility spot off the bench.”
Moore said Mbye was likely the state’s best versatile player.
“He can play lock and he can play anywhere in the spine and he can play in the centres.”
“You usually have him as your number one utility player.
“I think Moses, barring injury, is going to be there (in Origin).”
But Moore said Mbye would be better served if Wests, who have featured just outside the top eight for the past two years, featured in finals this time.
This year’s State of Origin Series will be played after the season is finished.
“There’s that potential six-week break (for players who don’t play finals).”
“It’s a big ask, to have a six-week lay-off, and then your first game is going to be Origin.
“That’s going to be tough. No-one’s had to do that before so well see how that goes.”
Mbye is co-captain of the Tigers with Benji Marshall.
He is in his third year at the club, after spending four seasons at the Bulldogs and played 120 NRL games.
Moore expected him to fire this season.
“He’s in the prime of his career, he’s been playing six or seven years in the NRL,” Moore said.
“This is when you reach your prime. You’ve had enough experience. You know all the ins and outs of the season and your body and what the competition requires.
“This is when, on the big stage, you produce your best form and he’s playing at a club that has been thereabouts.
“I think Moses Mbye, in the next two years, will be at his best.”
Sunshine Coast’s Moore also believed local products Jake Friend and Reed Mahoney would press claims for berths in the Queensland team.
Friend, 30, is regarded as one of the most experienced all-round players in the game with the back-to-back reigning premiers Roosters while fellow No. 9 Mahoney, 22, is one of the code’s brightest prospects at the Eels.
“I reckon all three players will be thereabouts for 2020 Origin,” he said.