NSW Name Same Team For Origin Game III, But There's A Twist
Never again for a Blue with 18 caps?
The Origin career of Mitchell Pearce might be over, after NSW selectors picked the same team that won State of Origin Game II 38-6 for the decider in Sydney on July 10.
Halfback Nathan Cleary -- who injured his ankle just before halftime in Game II -- has been named in the team, and it's believed he will heal in time.
If not, Wade Graham will switch to five-eighth and James Maloney will go to halfback.
The big surprise to many fans is that Newcastle's Mitchell Pearce has not been named as cover for Cleary. Pearce was considered highly likely to be picked for Origin II, but was unavailable due to injury.
He's right to go now, but the man who had the misfortune to play the bulk of his 18 previous Origins in Queensland's record-breaking eight year streak appears to have had his papers stamped "last resort only".
The other interesting selection is that of Tariq Sims on the bench. Sims came in when was NSW enforcer David Klemmer was unavailable for Game II. Klemmer's good to go now, but Sims has held him out.
That is, assuming Sims gets off at the judiciary on Tuesday night. The Dragon was handed a grade two dangerous contact charge after a hit on North Queensland Cowboys five-eighth (and Queensland player) Michael Morgan on Friday night.
If he fails to beat the charge, Klemmer will be back in.
Parramatta captain Clint Gutherson, who has been named as 18th man, will take Wade Graham's spot on the bench if Nathan Cleary fails to prove his fitness.
The team is:
1) James Tedesco
2) Blake Ferguson
3) Tom Trbojevic
4) Jack Wighton
5) Josh Addo-Carr
6) James Maloney
7) Nathan Cleary
8) Daniel Saifiti
9) Damien Cook
10) Paul Vaughan
11) Boyd Cordner (C)
12) Tyson Frizell
13) Jake Trbojevic
14) Dale Finucane
15) Tariq Sims
16) Cameron Murray
17) Wade Graham