No Gaz for Blues, Prince chances rising - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No Gaz for Blues, Prince chances rising

By Steve Jancetic, Wayne Heming and David Beniuk 30/05/2008 09:56:42 AM Comments (0)

NSW are contemplating State of Origin II without Mark Gasnier, while Queensland selectors have admitted star halfback Johnathan Thurston's form is down and Scott Prince has come into their calculations.

The Blues are on the lookout for a new centre after game one hero Gasnier was virtually ruled out of Origin II on June 11 with a hamstring injury.

The St George Illawarra skipper went down at training on Thursday, with scans confirming he would be out for 2-3 weeks due to a slight tear in his left hamstring.

The Suncorp Stadium return clash is less than two weeks away, meaning Gasnier is next to no chance of taking his place in a NSW side looking to wrap up its first series win since 2005.

Gasnier would have been an automatic selection in the centres alongside club team-mate Matt Cooper for game two after tearing the Maroons to shreds in NSW's 18-10 series-opening win at ANZ Stadium.

"It's a massive blow if he is out - he's the best centre in the world," NSW selector Bob McCarthy said.

"We'll just wait until Monday (when we get a medical report), there's no use speculating over who could come in."

Gasnier's unavailability opens the door for an Origin recall for out-of-favour Manly centre Jamie Lyon, while winger Jarryd Hayne could also move to the centres.

Meanwhile, Queensland chairman of selectors Des Morris has refused to rule Prince out of the Origin picture, admitting Thurston's form was down in Origin I and that the Cowboys' captain could be struggling for confidence.

The competition's leading point-scorer and chief line-breaker, Prince was overlooked for game one in Sydney to give Thurston total control.

Selectors will probably stick with Thurston at No.7 because of his past deeds and decide if his partner will be Darren Lockyer or Prince after watching Lockyer's return from a knee injury on Friday night.

They could also consider Lockyer or Prince for a bench position.

"Thurston was down on form for him but for any other player it was probably a reasonable effort," Morris told AAP.

"The side he is playing for (Cowboys) aren't going well and all that compounds on him."

Morris said no player was protected from the Origin axe.

"Until you get into the class of the Lewis's and the Lockyers and that ilk, everyone's performance is reviewed," he said.

"Obviously with a guy like Thurston who's the current Australian halfback and a top player at that level for the last two or three years, you cut him a bit of slack.

"The problem is, we've got a player like Scott Prince who is in such tremendous form.

"It's one those things we'll all have to sit down and confer over."

In NRL news, the Bulldogs' horror injury run has worsened with the club ruling out four more first-graders, including superstar Sonny Bill Williams, until round 15.

Williams has a knee injury, while props Jarrad Hickey (hamstring) and Chris Armit (knee) and winger Matt Utai (ribs) have also been sidelined.

The Dogs now have 10 regular first-graders unavailable and five-eighth Daniel Holdsworth (leg) in doubt for Saturday's clash with Melbourne at Olympic Park.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news