Johns back to save Blues in Origin II - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johns back to save Blues in Origin II

By Daniel Pace and Laine Clark 09/06/2005 08:11:13 PM Comments (0)

Andrew Johns has made a dramatic return to the NSW Origin side, setting the scene for the champion halfback to become a saviour for the Blues.

NSW selectors called in Johns, 31, to replace injured halfback Trent Barrett, who was ruled out of Origin II at Telstra Stadium on Wednesday night with a torn thigh muscle.

Former NSW and Test skipper Johns has played just one NRL match since a seven-week absence with a broken jaw.

Blues selectors originally left him out of the 17-man squad announced on Monday because he lacked match fitness, having played just six games since suffering a season-ending knee injury which kept him out of last year's Origin series.

Barrett told reporters in Dubbo where the NSW players trained: "He's a great player. The scene is set for him now to come and save us."

Johns' brother Matthew said if anyone could lift for the occasion it was his younger brother, bringing back memories of halfback Allan Langer's recall from England to help Queensland win the 2001 series.

"I can tell you when he arrives in that camp with the New South Wales side he'll lift them," said Johns.

But not everyone is pleased.

Cronulla officials are fuming that their club skipper Brett Kimmorley was not given a reprieve following his dumping from the Blues side which lost game one in Brisbane.

Penrith captain Craig Gower and Melbourne playmaker Matt Orford were also overlooked.

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