Farah has proved Origin credentials, says Benji

JAMES MACSMITH
Last updated 19:14 06/07/2012
Robbie Farah
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VINDICATION: Benji Marshall says NSW hooker Robbie Farah has silenced his critics.

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New Zealand captain Benji Marshall says Robbie Farah should be installed as the long-term NSW No 9 if the Blues are to have any hope of ending Queensland's stranglehold on State of Origin.

Marshall, who passionately appealed to New Zealand-born players not to turn their backs on their country for the big stage and big dollars of Origin, said his Wests Tigers teammate Farah has proven himself as a player who can restore NSW to Origin supremacy.

''I sent Robbie a message after the game ... more than proving  everyone else wrong, he proved himself right - that he was worthy of playing Origin,'' Marshall said.

''From my point of view, he will be there for the next five years.''

Farah came under fire before the Origin series as his ability to perform in rugby league's toughest arena was questioned by many, including Tigers great Steve Roach.

But Farah was one of NSW's best across the three-game series in his return to interstate football after two games in 2009.

Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens was one who extolled Farah's virtues before game one in Melbourne and said Farah has shown he is one of the best hookers in the game.

''I made my comments known before the series what I thought of him. He has always been in my Australian side, the next hooker picked, and I'm pleased to see people recognise that he is as good a hooker that is playing the game,'' Sheens said.

Sheens said Farah's performances had put him in a position to be a part of the NSW set up for years to come.

''At this stage, that is going to be the battle for him,'' Sheens said.

''But NSW beating Queensland at some stage might help that.''

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