New South Wales legend Danny Buderus has expressed concern over the state's hooking depth and believes it could present Laurie Daley great issues once Robbie Farah and Michael Ennis retire. 

Buderus, the Blues' most-capped hooker in history, had no issues with Daley sticking solid with Farah and Ennis for the upcoming series but was at a loss to pick who should be hailed as their successor.

Ennis and Farah – who are both 32 – are reaching the twilight of their career meaning the time for New South Wales' thin stock of hookers to stand up is now.

Between Parramatta's Nathan Peats, Bulldog Michael Lichaa and Dragon Mitch Rein there is no clear standout – one of them as likely as the next to be handed New South Wales' No. 9 jumper. 

The likes of Damien Cook, Cameron McInnes, Tyler Randell, Adam Clydsdale, Craig Garvey and Rory Kostjasyn are the remaining dummy halves at Daley's disposal, though are unlikely to play representative football in the near future.  

It is a stark contrast to the embarrassment of riches at Queensland who has Andrew McCullough, Jake Granville, James Segeyaro, Matt Parcell and Jake Friend to fill the huge breach Maroons skipper Cameron Smith will inevitably leave behind in the coming seasons. 

"Hooker is one position that in New South Wales we need to grow. We have Mitch Rein coming through, Michael Lichaa at the Bulldogs, Nathan Peats and not much else more floating around," Buderus told NRL.com. 

"It's something that will be an issue going forward is the hooking position. We talked about it at last year's City v Country with Mitch Rein that he was playing that fixture to put his hand up. 

"But he needs to have a consistent year as well to really establish himself and say 'righto I'm ready to be picked'. It would be nice to have a few more in and amongst that group that's ready for the next level."

Rein himself is mindful, if not cautious, about how he performs every weekend knowing an Origin spot is on the line moving forward. 

"You always want to be performing to the best of your ability and as early as you can. I have a few little small goals that I'm trying to work on week to week," Rein told NRL.com

"If I tick those off that will hopefully lead to bigger things – all I want to do is be here for the Dragons first and if something happens, something happens."

While he has acted as Country Origin's assistant coach in recent seasons Buderus has dedicated himself solely to helping Nathan Brown at the Knights in 2016.

Buderus has seen firsthand this year with Newcastle's Randell and Danny Levi how the introduction of eight interchanges has impacted the hooking role.

He expects whoever plays hooker in Origin from now on – as Farah has done for the past couple of years – to permanently be an 80 minute role. 

"It's going to be interesting to see how it pans out. I think coaches are just playing with it at the moment and some might think 'oh I didn't need that extra hooker on the bench'," he said.

"What you will need in the modern era of Origin football though I reckon is probably an 80 minute hooker and your back-rowers need to play 80 minutes at least too."

This article first appeared on NRL.com