VB Blues named
Laurie Daley announced his side yesterday – the first time the same NSW has been selected for all three games since 1996 – with Jack de Belin selected as 18th man. While there are some question marks surrounding the fitness of some players including skipper Boyd Cordner, centre Josh Dugan and back-rower Tyson Frizell, Daley is confident all will be fine for Wednesday week’s clash. Frizell, in particular, will be closely monitored, with scans revealing fresh rib cartilage damage. “We advised the NSW Blues Medical Staff of the results with indications on Tyson’s playing and training capacity for Origin III and the importance of Tyson’s welfare in their training and playing plans throughout this camp,” St George Illawarra Head of Athletic Perfornance Nathan Pickworth said. Dugan’s corked quad, however, does not require further investigation. Cordner spoke about his injury here.
Debutants’ ball for Queensland
The Maroons also named their side yesterday, with debutants Ben Hunt and Cameron Munster set to fill the sizeable vacancies left by Johnathan Thurston and Darius Boyd respectively. Hunt’s selection, in particular, surprised some pundits with the Dragons-bound playmaker seemingly behind in-form Daly Cherry-Evans in most experts’ predicted line-ups. The Maroons curiously named their side in alphabetical order (rather than in positional 1-17) meaning they are still wrestling with the decision on who to play where – in public at least. The Maroons insist Hunt will start from the interchange bench, meaning Cowboy Michael Morgan would more than likely take the field in the starting line-up.
The NSW Origin side travelled to Kingscliff yesterday after the team announcement at a Junior Blatchys clinic at ANZ Stadium. Today the team completes a recovery session before fulfilling a number of commitments – including sponsor and media commitments – before hitting the training paddock tomorrow morning.
NSW’s French connection
Here’s an in-depth look at the softer side of one of the VB Blues as you’ve probably never seen him – including why he’s learning to speak a foreign language. You may think of him as an on-field hitman in Daley’s side, but there’s plenty to like about this ball-playing forward off the field, too.
The NSW v Queensland under-16s match, the curtain raiser to Origin III, will be live-streamed on www.NSWRL.com.au. The Queenslanders have already named their side, with the junior Blues to name their side today. See it here first.
Get the latest
Are you following the NSW VB Blues on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You should be! Each channel publishes its own exclusive content, meaning if you’re not following each of them – and making www.NSWRL.com.au your homepage – you’re not getting the latest insights on the NSW VB Blues!