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Manly’s Tom Trbojevic and: Jake Trbojevic They made the most of their last chance on Sunday to ensure they will be in the NSW squad for Origin I and now both appear to be certain selections.
blues coach Brad Fittler Monday morning will determine the 19-man squad and the Bulldogs’ winger Josh Addo Carr Also launched a final bid for selection with a try in his side’s Round 12 win over the Titans on Sunday.
Addo-Carr was controversially left out of the NSW squad last year and has been out since Easter with an ankle injury.
Unbelievable just a few weeks ago, Trbojevic was under pressure to retain his place in the NSW backline after being below his best since returning from a groin injury.
He is now confident of reuniting in the centers Latrell Mitchellleaving the wing a contested spot for Fittler with Addo-Carr, In-form Rabbitohs international Campbell Graham and Penrith Stephen Crichton next to the leading candidates for the seat Brian To.
Fittler has been given little credit for controversial selection decisions ahead of the series opener at Adelaide Oval on May 31.
He seems sure to include Jarome Luay fifth after he avoided a ban for shoving a touch referee for Penrith against Brisbane on Thursday night. He will pay a fine of 1,800 dollars for the incident.
But his main competitor for the place, Nicho Hyneshas been called up to the NSW squad after being an unused reserve last year and is set to start Origin I as a bench utility.
This is how the blue ones are formed.
The blue spine. Luay is under huge pressure to retain the No.6 jersey ahead of South Sydney’s Cody Walker and Hynes in the race with the half-hearted Cleary.
But after returning to his best form in recent weeks and avoiding a ban for the touch referee incident, he appears to have Fittler’s blessing to partner Nathan Cleary in the halves.
Fittler appears set to roll with just one puck, instead rotating Api Koroisau and Damien Cook, with Hynes likely to be the designated tool on the bench as he can cover dummy-half as well as several back-line spots if required. :
Koroizau’s relationship with Cleary, Luah and lock Isaah Yeo, particularly from their time together at Penrith, is likely to see him offered ahead of Cook.
Outer backs. Trbojevic’s hat-trick for Manly on Sunday silenced his critics. He is an outstanding big play maker and when fully fit is one of the most potent attacking forces in the NRL.
Graham has built an irresistible case for his first Origin jersey with 11 tries for Souths this season after breaking through with the Kangaroos at last year’s World Cup.
Brian Too is a lock for one wing spot, while Graham should be the other winger ahead of Crichton, Joseph Swaley and Addo-Carr with Trbojevic in the centre.
forward package. Eels prop Junior Paulo and Brisbane behemoth Payne Haas will start, but the Blues are stretched to swap options up the middle.
Manly’s Jake Trbojevic has performed well, making an early return to club duty following a calf strain and is likely to be the third member of the mid-forward rotation.
Parramatta veteran Reagan Campbell-Gillard (groin injury) is out, as is rising Panthers star Spencer Leniou after tearing his testicle in recent training and requiring surgery.
Newcastle twins Daniel and Jacob Saifiti have Origin experience, while teammate Tyson Frizzell is set to make his first NSW appearance since making 14 appearances in 2020.
Panthers star Liam Martin has made a strong comeback from a hamstring injury over the past fortnight, giving Fittler one less selection headache.
Apart from Martin, other second-row options are Roosters star Angus Crichton, who has been steady after a late start to the season, Manly’s Haumole Olakau’atu and Canberra’s Hudson Young.
Crichton and Frizell are second-stringers that have been used in the rotation at the starting level before the middle to bolster their chances of a trade berth.
Possible 2023 Origin I Team
1 James Tedesco
2 Brian To
3 Tom Trbojevic
4 Latrell Mitchell
5 Campbell Graham
6 Jarome Luay
7 Nathan Cleary
8 Payne Haas
9 Api Koroisau/Damien Cook
10 Younger Paulos
11 Cameron Murray
12 Liam Martin
13 Isaiah Yeo
14 Nicho Hynes
15 Daniel Saifiti
16 Angus Crichton
17 Tyson Frizzell
18 Hudson Young
Other contenders / potential team members: Cody Walker, Jacob Saifiti, Joseph Suali, Stephen Crichton, Haumole Olakawatu