NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler has named the first five players in his extended State of Origin squad, taking a punt on injury-plagued Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic and dropping out-of-form series incumbents Paul Vaughan and Tariq Sims.
Fittler has unsurprisingly included Tom's brother, Jake, while Payne Haas and Tyson Frizell have been recalled. St George Illawarra captain Cameron McInnes, who is yet to make his State of Origin debut, has also been included in the squad.
Brad Fittler’s Blues are chasing a third straight series win, with the coach naming a train-on squad on Sunday night.Credit:Getty
"The State of Origin series will be an exciting way to finish the season and I’m confident the players we select will do the sky blue jersey proud."
The Blues are expected to begin gathering in camp at the Magenta Shores beachside resort on the Central Coast on October 19, with the players who feature in this year's grand final to join the rest of the team following the decider at ANZ Stadium on October 25.
Likely NSW team for Origin I
14. Cameron Murray 15. Junior Paulo/Daniel Saifiti/Paul Vaughan 16. Wade Graham/Angus Crichton 17. Clint Gutherson/Ryan Papenhuyzen
The selected players will be permitted to temporarily leave the NRL bubble introduced this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be required to maintain a level of fitness before re-entering the bubble again for the start of camp.
NSW BLUES' POTENTIAL 27-MAN SQUAD
Backs (nine spots)
Safe: James Tedesco, Josh Addo-Carr, Jack Wighton, Tom Trbojevic*
Fighting for five spots: Ryan Papenhuyzen, Clint Gutherson, David Nofoaluma, Nick Cotric, Blake Ferguson, Daniel Tupou, Stephen Crichton, Campbell Graham
Halves and hookers (five-six spots)
Safe: Luke Keary, Nathan Cleary, Damien Cook, Cameron McInnes*
Fighting for two-three spots: Cody Walker, Mitchell Pearce, Mitchell Moses, Api Koroisau,
Forwards (12-13 spots)
Safe: Payne Haas*, David Klemmer, Tyson Frizell*, Boyd Cordner, Cameron Murray, Jake Trbojevic*
Fighting for six-seven spots: Junior Paulo, Daniel Saifiti, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Dale Finucane, Nathan Brown, Ryan Matterson, Wade Graham, Angus Crichton, Liam Martin, Isaah Yeo
*Denotes position confirmed
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