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Johns wants Blues to stick with players

28/06/2009 01:55:57 PM Comments (0)

NSW assistant coach Andrew Johns has urged selectors to resist making several changes to the Blues team for State of Origin III in Brisbane next month.

The Blues trail 2-0 in this year's series after the 24-14 loss to Queensland in last Wednesday's game two in Sydney, the Maroons securing a record fourth-straight series win with the victory.

But the champion halfback says introducing a whole bunch of untried players for game three could be disastrous as NSW aim to avoid a 3-0 series sweep.

"People are asking, they want mass changes but give me some names of people that are absolutely knocking the door down," Johns told the Nine Network.

"The most important thing is, firstly, we've got to win game three from a NSW point of view and if we're going to blood some young players, some rookies, put them in alongside some experience.

"Don't just put four or five in because it could be the worst thing in the world.

"If they get up there at Suncorp, and you know what the atmosphere's like up there, and they get a shellacking, some of those blokes might not recover from that."

Johns also stood by embattled Blues coach Craig Bellamy as doubts over his future grow following two series losses in two years at the helm.

"I think of the great coaches, Warren Ryan, Bob Fulton, Wayne Bennett, Phil Gould, Ricky Stuart, he's right up there with these guys," Johns said.

"He hasn't forgotten how to coach in the last two months

"... There's a great Queensland side at the moment, if any other coach was there ... we might have got beaten by 30 points.

"Craig Bellamy with his great coaching and his great defensive structures, he's kept us right in that game."

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