New South Wales make seven changes for Origin II, with Jake Trbojevic BACK in the team
New South Wales coach Brett Fittler has announced the changes for Origin II, remembering Jake Trbojevic and handing Siosifa Talakai his Blues debut, as Broncos center Kotoni Staggs is among the cases.
The roster named by the Blues coach on Sunday features seven changes from the New South Wales team that played in Sydney on June 16, 2016.
Trbojevic returns to the Origin arena after being a surprise omission for Game 1, having played in every game for NSW under Fittler in which he had been available.
Manly prop Jake Trbojevic has been named in New South Wales roster for Origin II
‘To be [Trbojevic’s] the last four to six weeks have been fantastic,” Fittler said on the Sunday Footy Show. Everyone sees it in his face, in his actions in everything he does. He just works so hard for his team.”
Apisai Koroisau is back on the team 12 months after being threatened with a Blues ban for violating Covid-19 protocols ahead of Game 2 of last year’s series.
Talakai, meanwhile, will make his Origin debut in Perth next week after a breakout season for the Sharks.
Sydney Roosters lock Victor Radley and teammate Angus Crichton have also been named in the 22, along with Parramatta co-captain Clint Gutherson and North Queensland prop Jordan McLean.
Roosters lock Victor Radley is a surprise roster for NSW who hasn’t played since round 10
Bulldogs five-eight Matt Burton has been chosen and is expected to start in the middle in Game 2
Siosifa Talakai Makes His Origin Debut After Breakthrough Season At Cronulla
Radley is a surprising addition as he has not played for the Roosters since their round 10 win over Parramatta and has since undergone surgery for a syndesmosis injury.
Bulldogs five-eight Matt Burton has been named in the side and is expected to start in the middle, the role he played for the Panthers last season.
However, there is no place for Burton’s teammate Josh Addo-Carr, who was a controversial omission for the series opener.
The Canterbury flyer had played in the previous 12 Origin games until this year and had been subject to a recall after scoring five tries in the past two games.
But Broncos star Kotoni Staggs has been dropped after his Origin debut in Game 1
Addo-Carr again missed the roster while Roosters winger Daniel Tupou kept his spot.
Meanwhile, Eels duo Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Ryan Matterson are among the players dropped, along with Staggs, who made his Origin debut in Game 1, and St George forward Tariq Sims.
Jack Wighton, meanwhile, is missing out after contracting Covid-19 earlier this week.
The Raiders star felt unwell and gave a positive test on Friday afternoon, taking him out of Canberra’s against Newcastle.
Blues coach Brad Fittler announced the changes for New South Wales ahead of Game 2
Wighton’s absence is a big blow to the Blues, as he was one of their standout players in Game 1 when he scored the game’s opening try.
It also means Fittler will have to rearrange his pack in the centers again, with Crichton, who was on the bench in Sydney two weeks ago, joining the starting squad.
“He will be a huge loss. He was our best player, he was our strongest player. He played the game as it should, very directly and physically,” said Fittler.
“We’re going to miss him. We need other players to channel Jack, to play like he did.”
Jack Wighton will miss second State of Origin game after testing positive for Covid-19
New South Wales is also without reigning Dally M medalist Tom Trbjoevic, Souths star fullback Latrell Mitchell and his Storm counterpart Ryan Papenhuyzen.
Trbojevic has been out of the season after shooting his shoulder out of the ground last month, while Mitchell and Papenhuyzen overcame hamstring injuries to contract Covid-19.
Although Mitchell has recovered from Covid, he has yet to play from the Rabbitohs and has only recently resumed training.
‘He ran over’ [by Covid]’ Fittler said of the star fullback on Channel Nine. “He’s only had one real session. Latrell won’t be available.”
NEW SOUTH WALES STATE OF ORIGIN SQUAD FOR GAME 2
- Matt Burton (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs)
- Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)
- Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
- Angus Crichton (Sydney Roosters)
- Stephen Crichton (Penrith Panthers)
- Clint Gutherson (Parramatta Eels)
- Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos)
- Nicho Hynes (Cronulla-Sutherland sharks)
- Apisai Koroisau (Penrith Panthers)
- Jarome Luai (Penrith Panthers)
- Liam Martin (Penrith Panthers)
- Jordan McLean (North Queensland Cowboys)
- Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
- Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eel)
- Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters)
- Joseph Suaalii (Sydney Hanen)
- Siosifa Talakai (Cronulla-Sutherland sharks)
- James Tedesco (c) (Sydney Roosters)
- Brian To’o (Penrith Panthers)
- Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
- Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters)
- Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers)