NSW name 21-man State of Origin squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW name 21-man State of Origin squad

By Steve Jancetic 07/06/2010 08:42:14 PM Comments (0)

The depth of NSW's injury and suspension woes have forced selectors to take unprecedented action with a 21-man squad including five doubtful starters named to take on Queensland in next week's must-win State of Origin clash in Brisbane.

In what amounts to a 24-hour stay of execution as Jarryd Hayne and Luke Lewis put their Origin fate in the hands of the NRL judiciary, selectors named eight new faces from the side defeated in game one including rookie trio Beau Scott, Jason King and Canberra sensation Josh Dugan.

But Scott (adductor) and Dugan (knee) are both under an injury cloud as is prop Michael Weyman (groin), their predicament adding to the confusion for selectors.

Veteran halfback Brett Kimmorley has surely played his last game in the sky blue after being dropped in favour of Mitchell Pearce, while Josh Perry was the other casualty with Manly pair Jamie Lyon (ankle) and Anthony Watmough (groin) both not considered due to injury.

There were recalls for Trent Barrett, Paul Gallen, Luke O'Donnell and Nathan Hindmarsh, but just how many of that group make the final cut remains unclear, with coach Craig Bellamy refusing to confirm any definite starters including game one skipper Kurt Gidley's spot in the starting line-up.

"If the three injured guys come through and the two guys get off at the judiciary, you've got your 17 in mind," Bellamy said.

"If three of them miss out and the two guys lose at the judiciary, you've probably got your 17. What happens in between - that's the hard thing.

"It's not just if one guy goes out this guy comes in, it's a bit of a balance to certain positions, balance to the bench.

"There's 21 names there, there's 17 who are going to definitely in the team ... you could spend five or six hours working things out and something might change and that all doesn't work out at all.

"It's the longest selectors' meeting that we've had since I've been with the Origin team. It was quite confusing with all the different options that can happen."

Dugan's stunning elevation to the Origin squad after just 27 NRL matches seems to suggest he is on standby for Hayne, who will attempt to beat a striking charge at the NRL judiciary following his headbutt on Billy Slater in Friday night's spiteful grand final rematch.

It also calls into question Gidley's role, with the Newcastle utility now seemingly a third-choice option at fullback.

With specialist halves Barrett and Pearce also named, Gidley may be forced to the bench which calls into question his role as captain of the side.

"I'd imagine he'll be the captain," said Bellamy, who also admitted it was a decision for the NSWRL board and not him to decide the skipper.

"If Jarryd gets off he'll certainly be in the team. Kurt can play a few positions, Jarryd can play a few positions - we've obviously discussed that but until we see what happens to Jarryd tomorrow night, we'll sort that out from there.

"I'm not quite sure how many manoeuvres we could make ... you could end up with a whole heap of options."

Bellamy denied the disruption would be too big a distraction to the side as it looks to send the series to a game three decider in Sydney next month.

"It's unsettling now but we'll know tomorrow night or early Wednesday morning ... basically by the (first) training we'll know who's in and who's out and I don't think it's going to be too unsettling to be honest," Bellamy said.

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