Fittler backs ‘sluggish’ Cook to retain Origin spot

NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler has given Damien Cook a vote of confidence, despite recent suggestions that he could lose his spot in the side due to a sluggish return.

Cook has been unable to replicate the form of his last two seasons so far in the interrupted 2020 season for Souths, with former NSW selection adviser Peter Sterling saying the No.9 could lose his spot.

However, Fittler put any doubts with regards to Cook’s position as the Blues No.9, saying that both he and the Rabbitohs were slowly, but surely rounding into form.

“I’d be picking him now for sure,” he told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports Radio.

“Yeah he has (been a bit sluggish). I think Souths in general have been about a 7/10 at the moment.

Brad Fittler has no doubts that Damien Cook will be in his Origin side this season (AAP)

“They look like they’re either going to go one way or the other and I think Friday night is going to be a great test when they play the Tigers.

“Cook is getting better. I thought last week was better than the week before, and the week before better than the week before that and so on.”

Fittler’s comments come after Sterling cast doubts over whether Cook would earn representative honours.

“I think you’ve got to say Damien Cook hasn’t jumped out of the blocks completely,” Sterling told Wide World of Sports’ Sterlo’s Wrap when asked if NSW coach Brad Fittler would be considering other options for his No.9.

“We all thought that the new changes around the ruck area would certainly suit Damien Cook. South Sydney haven’t been going that well, so maybe Damien is paying the price for the fact that the side aren’t going particularly well.”

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