Blues’ Payne Haas out of State of Origin decider as Maroons opt against sweeping changes

  • Jordan McLean to debut for NSW in place of injured Haas in Brisbane
  • Tom Gilbert to make first Origin appearance for Queensland

Jordan McLean will debut for NSW in the place of Payne Haas after the Brisbane prop was ruled out of State of Origin Game 3 with a shoulder injury while Tom Gilbert will debut for Queensland.

In the only other change to the NSW game day side announced on Monday, coach Brad Fittler has opted to recall Jack Wighton. But the Canberra five-eighth will have to make do with being the Blues’ 18th man after missing game two with Covid-19.

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State of Origin 2022 Game 2: NSW Blues 44-12 Queensland Maroons – as it happened

  • NSW level series at 1-1 with comprehensive win in Perth
  • Nathan Cleary sets up two tries and scores two of his own

While you’re waiting for the action to get underway, enjoy lifelong Bears tragic Sam Perry keeping the dream alive.

Speaking earlier of the NSW changes to the ruck, Billy Slater reckons they’ve made the Blues a more dangerous proposition, telling Nine: “I see a huge strength in their dummy half position. Firstly with Apisai Koroisau starting the game, he’s got a great craft around dummy half area and then we’re anticipating Damien Cook to come on somewhere late in that first half. So when he gets there, he’s an explosive runner. So that’s what we’ve worked hard on this week. It will be a big strength of their game.”

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Wholesale change the only option for State of Origin Game 2, says NSW coach Brad Fittler

  • Blues make seven changes for weekend’s game in Perth
  • ‘We have no safety net at the moment,’ says Fittler

NSW coach Brad Fittler has defended his decision to make seven changes to his Blues squad after the narrow loss in the State of Origin series opener, insisting he could not afford not to “reassess” for Game 2 against Queensland, who have made just two changes to their winning team.

Ryan Matterson, Kotoni Staggs, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Tariq Sims have all been dropped from the Blues’ 17 that lost 16-10 to Queensland, with Jack Wighton (Covid-19) the only forced change. Jacob Saifiti and Tyson Frizell are also out of the extended squad for Origin II, to be played in Perth on 26 June.

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