Graham Backs Prior Selection

Cronulla back-rower and four-time NSW Origin rep Wade Graham says the Brad Fittler's decision to call up Sharks prop Matt Prior is a smart one.

A broken jaw to Game One prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard opens the door for a new player to join Fittler's winning squad with a chance to wrap the series up in Sydney next Sunday.

A mammoth effort in a big win over Canterbury-Bankstown looked to have sealed Titans prop Ryan James' push but with 20 names on the team sheet dropped by Fittler on Saturday night, 31-year-old Prior remains a chance of a late-career Origin debut.

Prior was given the good news by Sharks CEO Barry Russell as he came from the field at the end of his team's 20-16 loss to the Broncos.

"I think they've made a great decision picking Matty Prior," Graham said.

"He's been at the top of his game for the last couple of seasons.

"He's certainly one of our best performers and heading into a decider at ANZ, a guy like Matty who's played in two grand finals, a lot of finals footy, he's been in big games before and he's performed at that level, I couldn't be happier for him and I really hope he gets a run.

"He's a guy who ticks all the boxes at training, works hard every day. Freddy (Fittler) and Brandy (NSW adviser Greg Alexander), that's a real good choice in Matty.

"He's won two grand finals (with the Dragons in 2010 and Sharks in 2016), he's played on the biggest stage. He'll be ready to go if they need him.

"It couldn't have gone to a more deserving bloke. If there's anyone you can rely on it's Matty."

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks prop Matt Prior.
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks prop Matt Prior. ©NRL Photos