Eels rising star Peats could slide in for Origin spot

RUGBY LEAGUE: Canterbury's Michael Ennis and Knights captain Kurt Gidley have the experience, but Eels hooker Nathan Peats could be an Origin smoky for New South Wales.

Some big names are prepared to bet Peats could fill in at hooker if Wests Tigers leader Robbie Farah is ruled out of the first State of Origin game in Brisbane next month with at elbow injury.

Farah dislocated his elbow against the Cowboys on the weekend and is rated only an outside chance of being back in time for the May 28 Origin opener at Suncorp Stadium. While Blues coach Laurie Daley would most likely punt on Ennis, who has played seven Origins in the No.9 jumper, or the versatile Gidley who has been used in several positions in his 12 Origins, former NSW stars Andrew Johns and Benny Elias said Peats (pictured) would be their pick.

"Nathan Peats would be my choice, definitely," Elias said. "He is Origin tough."