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Back-up hooker in Origin a must: Buderus

NSW assistant coach Danny Buderus admits having a back-up hooker is a must when it comes to selecting their State of Origin team.

The utility spot is one of a handful of NSW positions up for grabs as the race for spots enters the final NRL round before game-one sides are announced.

South Sydney star Cody Walker and Canberra five-eighth Jack Wighton have both been touted as possible options for the No.14 jumper on the bench.

However the versatile Tyrone Peachey remains arguably the best option for coach Brad Fittler due to his ability to cover at least four different positions.

Sydney Roosters hooker Victor Radley is another who could surge into contention after deputising for the injured Jake Friend for most of this season.

Buderus said it is imperative that every position in the starting line-up is covered.

"You have to. And that's the thing, it'd be great to bring in someone that just plays a specialist position just because they're playing well," he said.

"Don't forget you've got the HIA (head injury assessments) as well."

Peachey, whose form has been mixed for Gold Coast this year, was used sparingly off the bench last year, totalling just 34 minutes across all three games.

"We didn't have to use him from a point of view of injuries or whatever. But this year, who know's what's going to happen game one?" Buderus said.

"It's a specialist role and you need someone in your squad that can play every position. You do (want a hooker that can play 80 minutes), or you need someone in your team that can slot in there. They're the factors you've got to think about."

The Blues will be forced to make a minimum two changes from the side that lost game three last year, with Tom Trbojevic injured and Jack de Belin stood down.

However James Roberts is currently out of first grade, while James Maloney, who is suspended this week, appears increasingly unlikely to keep his jumper.

While reluctant to nominate exactly how many positions were undecided, Buderus said it was important week for a number of hopefuls.

"Part of you that wants to stay pretty loyal, because those guys were fantastic last year. (But) there's been form to bring into that," he said.

"There's been guys that didn't play last year that have forced their way into contention."

© AAP 2019