Origin Shock! 18-Game Failure Now The Hope Of Blue South Wales
Halfback Nathan Cleary is out and Mitchell Pearce has been rushed in.
That's the shock State of Origin development this Wednesday afternoon, just one week out from the series decider in Sydney.
As you can see in the video above, Cleary thought he was good to go. But no. The ankle injury he sustained near halftime in Origin II in Perth has beaten him.
This means that Pearce -- who played 18 Origin games in the heart of Queensland's eight-year streak, and lost a lot more than he won -- now has the chance for one of sport's great redemption stories.
Pearce was up against Queensland's golden generation back then, and it was always a little tough to gauge whether he was not up to representative class, or if the opposition was just superior across the field.
At 30, the Knights halfback is a better, more seasoned, smarter player these days. Queensland is also much weaker now. This is his chance.
Pearce will link up with NSW five-eighth James Maloney, his former playmaking partner at the Sydney Roosters when they won the NRL premiership in 2013.