Sport Rugby League NRL: NSW coach rolls the dice for Origin II

NRL: NSW coach rolls the dice for Origin II

NSW players reflect on their State of Origin loss in Brisbane. Photo: Getty
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Brad Fittler has rolled the dice, making seven changes to the New South Wales line-up before the must-win game two of State of Origin in Perth on Sunday.

The Blues coach has opted for an all-Penrith halves combination, with James Maloney joining game one halfback Nathan Cleary.

There were suggestions selectors were looking to pick Mitchell Pearce with Cleary, but the Knights’ star was ruled out on Sunday morning with a hip injury after playing the full 80 minutes in Newcastle’s thumping 34-4 loss to Melbourne Storm in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.

Game one debutant Payne Haas was also ruled out of the side for Perth after picking up a hamstring injury in the Broncos’ big loss to the Eels.

The Blues also had to bring in a replacement for winger Nick Cotric, who hobbled off late on in Canberra’s win over Cronulla with an ankle injury.

Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle Knights) and Dale Finucane (Melbourne Storm) will make their debuts, while Maloney, Tom Trbojevic, Tariq Sims, Blake Ferguson and Wade Graham have all been recalled.

Canberra Raiders’ Jack Wighton, who was on the interchange bench for game one, moves into the starting side at centre.

Fittler’s Queensland counterpart, Kevin Walters, has not needed to drop anyone coming off an 18-14 win in Origin I.

Queensland was always expected to make at least one change, after Jai Arrow’s bad ankle injury for the Titans left the Maroons forward facing six to 12 weeks on the sidelines.

Interchange player Joe Ofahengaue picked up a knee laceration in game one, and he was also ruled out for Perth.

In come utility forward Tim Glasby from the Newcastle Knights, and Gold Coast Titans prop Jarrod Wallace, who have played three and five Origin games respectively.

NSW Origin II team

1) James Tedesco

2) Josh Addo-Carr

3) Tom Trbojevic

4) Jack Wighton

5) Blake Ferguson

6) James Maloney

7) Nathan Cleary

8) Daniel Saifiti

9) Damien Cook

10) Paul Vaughan

11) Tyson Frizell

12) Boyd Cordner (C)

13) Jake Trbojevic


14) Dale Finucane

15) Tariq Sims

16) Cameron Murray

17) Wade Graham

Queensland Origin II team

1) Kalyn Ponga

2) Corey Oates

3) Michael Morgan

4) Will Chambers

5) Dane Gagai

6) Cameron Munster

7) Daly Cherry-Evans (C)

8) Dylan Napa

9) Ben Hunt

10) Josh Papalii

11) Felise Kaufusi

12) Matt Gillett

13) Josh McGuire

14) Moses Mbye

15) Jarrod Wallace

16) Tim Glasby

17) David Fifita

Extended squad

18) Christian Welch

19) Edrick Lee

20) Corey Norman