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Peachey keen for Origin utility role

Tyrone Peachey's bush footy dream is set to carry him all the way into sky blue as one of the game's great left-field thinkers weighs up arguably the NRL's most unpredictable player for an Origin debut.

Rookie NSW coach Brad Fittler is an unabashed fan of the Panthers livewire, and Peachey is understood to be the front-runner for the all-important bench utility role for the series opener on June 6.

One more strong performance against the Dragons this Saturday will have the 26-year-old all but assured of an Origin start given incumbent utility Jack Bird is struggling with a sternum issue and carrying a second hooker on the bench would limit the Blues' ability to cover a mid-game injury.

Peachey has been in fine form over the past six weeks, averaging 130 metres and four tackle busts per game since round six, as Penrith have surged into second place on the ladder.

The Wellington product also claimed man-of-the-match honours in last week's defeat of the Tigers when Fittler and fellow Blues advisor Greg Alexander were keeping a keen eye on teammates and potential Origin halves James Maloney and Nathan Cleary.

Peachey says he hasn't heard from the NSW hierarchy heading into Saturday's showdown with St George Illawarra, but refreshingly did not try to play down his Origin credentials in the lead-up to the mouthwatering top of the table clash.

"I feel if we play well this weekend, it'll be up to Freddie," Peachey told of his Origin chances.

Panthers utility Tyrone Peachey.
Panthers utility Tyrone Peachey. ©Robb Cox/NRL Photos

"No one really knows who's in the team. All we can do is try and push for that by playing well as a team, and then you put yourself in the frame for a call.

"I've just been hearing what's in the papers and the conversation around the last couple of weeks, it's been pretty intense.

"I'm happy to be in the conversation to be honest, I've taken a bit of confidence from it. Just to be in a position to potentially be picked is awesome.

"It'd be a dream come true, and there's a few Penrith boys in that conversation. A win against the Dragons, I think we go top of the table if we get up, so hopefully get the win and then you keep your fingers crossed and hopefully get the call."

Peachey has worked with Fittler – "a great bloke, someone really different" – across three City Origin campaigns and performed strongly under the champion five-eighth's watch in the past.

Fittler is renowned for his unconventional approach to the game, banning phones in previous camps, encouraging meditation and yoga and having his players lie face down on the turf and take stock of how they rose to representative honours.

Peachey is as unconventional as they come on the paddock, pinballing his way through games be it in the back-row, halves or at centre.

Fittler has kept his powder dry for much of the lead-in to the Holden State of Origin opener at the MCG, though he has declared a preference for players with genuine entertainment value.

For the record, Peachey himself does not consider himself an entertainer, or one of Freddie's favourites. Simply put, he's a footy player.

"I just play footy that makes me happy. If I look up and I see something, I'm going to do it," Peachey grins.

"I'm not going to hold back or wonder 'what if?' I've grown up playing that way my whole life and I don't want to change it now.

"I don't really know what I'm going to do to be honest. We do video and coaches tell the boys to push up with me, but I don't know what I'm going to do, so I don't know how they go with it.

"I just play footy and I just do it. I don't think about it too much, it just happens."

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.