JOSH Fluss believes the standard of Friday night’s state of origin will be better than last year.
One of NSW’s three co-coaches believes home grown talent Trent Rixon, who plays in the Victorian Premier league, could be the deciding factor in the contest.
Rixon will return to the Border after scoring at the weekend.
But Fluss said a decision on where he would line up would be delayed until a training session tonight.
“We could play Trent forward or he may sit in behind them,” he said.
“We will have a talk with him and see where he feels most comfortable.”
In a shot across the bow of his Victorian rivals Fluss said at least their import had come from within the country.
“We only had to go to Melbourne,” he said.
“The Vics have again had to look overseas to be competitive.
“But in my opinion I think both teams are a little stronger than they were last year.”
Fluss said NSW would cut its squad to 17 after training tonight.
“We certainly don’t lack depth and will have to make some tough calls,” the Melrose keeper said.
“And on the other side of the Border you would have to think losing the strike power of a Zac Walker and the workrate of a Jesse Stephens won’t help their chances either.”