NSW Blues

Tedesco dropped, Trbojevic named captain

Maguire named his maiden Blues squad on Sunday night, with Jake Trbojevic as captain and Nicho Hynes to partner Jarome Luai in the halves despite a calf injury for the Cronulla star.

Reece Robson was selected as hooker ahead of Apisai Koroisau, while Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii and Zac Lomax are set to make their debut in the backline.

Cameron McInnes will make his debut and could start at lock, while Haumole Olakau'atu is also in line for his first Blues jersey.

Blues squad named

There is some really good pick for the much needed win, but there is also some brutal axing. Nickolas Hynes who was the utility on the bench in the last series couldn’t make the team. Tavita Pengai Junior was also axed while Nathan Cleary was ruled out through injury. 

Michelle Moses, Damien Cook and Latrell Michell were recalled into the camp along with fellow Bunny, Keaon Kolonmatangi. In other changes, Stifano Utuikamanu moves into the starting 17 and Stephen Chariton reverted to the extended bench. 

Blues Origin II Team 

1. James Tedesco (c)

Maroons v Blues: Walsh gets his shot; Crichton in for Mitchell

One of the Blues' most decorated players, Fittler took over as coach in 2018 and masterminded back-to-back victories in his first two seasons in charge, before Wayne Bennett led an underdog Maroons side to a stunning upset in 2020.

The Blues hit back with a 2-1 triumph in 2021 before Slater added to his incredible Origin legacy by steering Queensland to victory last year, thanks largely to the efforts of Cameron Munster, Kalyn Ponga, Ben Hunt and Patrick Carrigan.

Mitchell ruled out of Origin

Mitchell will be replaced by 18th man Stephen Crichton and did not travel with the team to Adelaide today while Matt Burton will join the squad as the new 18th Man.

Tom Trbojevic looked strong in his last outing with Manly  to ease any doubts over his fitness while Stephen Crichton joins the camp as 18th Man in place of Campbell Graham. Tevita Pangai Junior has been named to start for his Origin debut but could be a late swap with Junior Paulo, with the veteran prop named on the bench. 

'As good as I have seen': Queensland spirit to the fore

"That is as good a Queensland victory as I have ever seen," Slater said. "I don’t think I’ve been any prouder of a team I’ve been involved in.”

Slater played 31 Origins from 2004 to 2018 and was a key member of the most dominant team in the 42 years since the concept began, so he knows only too well the story of Queensland's famous spirt inspiring the underdog Maroons to victory against all odds.

However, there has never been a plot quite like the one at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

Koroisau fined $15,000 by Blues over Origin biosecurity breach

Koroisau has been fined $15,000 by the NSWRL, which announced the sanctions on Wednesday afternoon, on top of the $35,000 fine and two-game suspension already issued by the NRL.

If selected again, Koroisau will need to convince the Blues board "he has earned the right to be once again trusted to uphold all of the standards, protocols and values of NSWRL".

Blues coach Brad Fittler recently said Koroisau would not necessarily have a line drawn through his name at the selection table in future.

NSW Blues Origin III team: Saifiti ruled out

Blues coach Brad Fittler took time out during his video media conference on Monday to speak to NSW doctor Nathan Gibbs, who advised him that Saifiti would not be right to play next Wednesday.

Broncos prop Payne Haas is likely to be promoted from the bench with Storm veteran Dale Finucane elevated from the reserves list to the interchange.

Mitchell Moses has been called up for his NSW Origin debut and charged with delivering the fourth series whitewash in Blues history, as predicted by NSW's greatest nemesis, Wayne Bennett.

Blues take Origin series on Tedesco winner

 Scores were locked at 20-all in the final minute on Wednesday when Blake Ferguson tiptoed the sideline, then found Tedesco for his second try of the night.

It came after Queensland forward Josh Papalii crossed in the 77th minute and debutant Ethan Lowe nailed a pressure conversion to level the game.

The dramatic finish ended a run of seven straight defeats in Origin deciders for the Blues, dating back to the start of the Maroons' dynasty in 2006.

It is also Mitchell Pearce's first series win over Queensland in eight attempts.

Blues crush Maroons in Perth to keep Origin series alive

But after a week of intense criticism and questioning, Brad Fittler's controversial selections, and non-selections, have been justified after NSW kept the series alive with an emphatic 38-6 win against Queensland in Perth on Sunday night.

The Maroons were totally outclassed and out-enthused by a NSW team that had spent an entire week working on working harder.

More effort, Fittler wanted. Effort he got.

James Maloney strolled into Blues camp exactly seven days ago, after repeatedly being snubbed in the weeks prior, asking the coach if he had lost his number.

Meninga questions inclusion of NSW rookie Saifiti to replace Klemmer

Saifiti is tipped to make his Blues debut in game two, after coming in to replace the injured David Klemmer, but Meninga doesn’t think it is a like for like replacement.

“An inexperienced prop coming in to what is a must-win game, taking the place of a very experienced player in David Klemmer - I find that a bit strange,” Meninga said.

“I just think you need another experienced prop to start the game.’’

The shock selection of the 23-year-old Knights front-rower to replace one of the Blues best in game one is a risk.