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Blues selectors set to stay loyal

By David Beniuk 10/05/2010 08:01:01 PM Comments (0)

NSW State of Origin selectors are set to stay loyal to the players who beat Queensland in game three of last year's series when they pick the Blues side next Monday.

On the end of an unprecedented 4-0 series loss, NSW rallied in the dead rubber to post a 28-16 victory at Suncorp Stadium.

Blues selectors are keeping their cards close to their chests but chairman Bob McCarthy said loyalty to the Origin III group from last year would be a huge consideration.

"All I can say is we'll try and get as close to the side that won that game last year, providing they're fit and healthy," McCarthy told AAP.

"They really dominated that game.

"That's about all I can give away."

The 2009 Origin III Blues sided included centre Michael Jennings, five-eighth Trent Barrett and prop Justin Poore, all considered only rough chances of making the side for game one on May 26.

From last year's squad, only bench utility Craig Wing (Japanese rugby union) and winger David Williams (shoulder) would be unavailable.

Jennings' move to right centre this year could be a boost to the Penrith star's chances, with most of the other centre contenders usually left-side players.

Test right centre Jamie Lyon is in the frame to be chosen at five-eighth.

Former Blues coach Ricky Stuart has called on selectors to pick Canterbury giant Jamal Idris, also a right centre, and Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan didn't rule out the readiness of the 19-year-old.

"I'm not sure (if he's ready)," Ryan told reporters on Monday.

"He played pretty good (for Country) the other night.

"He's still a young kid but he's playing some good footy for us and the biggest thing we speak about (to) Jamal all the time is consistency.

"I think this season he's certainly showed that he's been consistent week-in, week-out."

Idris will have the chance to impress again when he comes up against St George Illawarra's in-form Matt Cooper, regarded as one of the game's best defensive centres, on Friday night.

"He's a pretty cruisey character, it doesn't affect him too much, he just wants to go out there and do his job," Ryan said.

"He's a confident kid. I knew that he'd back himself and he's done that ever since he's come into first grade."

The Blues selectors will meet with coach Craig Bellamy next Monday before announcing the team that night.

McCarthy said a big game this weekend could boost a player's chances but the fact Manly play Parramatta on Monday night - with the team announcement during the halftime break of that match - will make it difficult for the likes of Poore and 2009 game three benchman Glenn Stewart to make late claims.

"It wouldn't hurt if they had a big game, last impressions sometimes count," McCarthy said.

One definitely out of the frame is North Queensland and City forward Luke O'Donnell, who will miss at least two weeks after it was confirmed he had hyper-extended his knee.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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