Gasnier in, Lewis out for NSW Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gasnier in, Lewis out for NSW Blues

By Laine Clark 14/06/2005 08:33:03 PM Comments (0)

There was relief for Mark Gasnier, more frustration for Luke Lewis and a ray of hope for forward Anthony Watmough after a dramatic final NSW Origin training session.

Gasnier finally overcame a groin strain and was cleared to partner St George Illawarra teammate Matt Cooper in the NSW centres for the Blues' must-win Origin clash at Telstra Stadium.

Manly backrower Watmough - who was initially dumped from the Blues bench after Origin I - was then named as the new 18th man after Penrith's Lewis had been placed on standby for Gasnier last week.

Gasnier showed no discomfort from the groin complaint he aggravated at NSW training last Friday, ensuring utility Lewis' frustrating recent representative run continued.

Lewis was also named as Australia's 18th man for the April Test against New Zealand, but not used.

However, there was much needed good news for Watmough.

Manly captain Michael Monaghan hoped Watmough's arrival as 18th man would finally end speculation that the young backrower had been initially dropped for his behaviour in the Origin I Blues camp.

"The stories that he was marked `never to play Origin again' probably hurt his confidence," Monaghan admitted.

"But the selectors have named him 18th man for this game - at least he knows he is still in the frame for game three and the future.

"If he had any behavioural problems in game one they wouldn't have put him on standby for game two would they?

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