NSW set to make more Origin changes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW set to make more Origin changes

By Ian McCullough 27/06/2010 06:29:44 PM Comments (0)

Two matches down, a fifth successive series lost and the NSW selectors look set to again ring the changes on Monday night when they name their side to take on Queensland on July 7.

No fewer than 62 players have donned the Blues jersey since 2006 with the Maroons using only 42 during their half-decade of dominance.

As many as seven changes could be made to the side that lined up at Suncorp Stadium for the dead rubber clash at ANZ Stadium on July 7.

The loss of Matt Cooper to injury and Luke O'Donnell, Timana Tahu and almost certainly Michael Weyman to suspension will force the hands of the under-fire NSW selection panel to name a new centre pairing, prop and winger.

Cronulla bookends Luke Douglas and Kade Snowden are both in contention for a maiden call-up with Penrith's prolific goal-kicking winger Michael Gordon in line for a debut.

Gordon has been strongly linked as replacement for Joel Monaghan who is set to be jettisoned after failing to impress in his last-minute recall to the side in Brisbane.

St George Illawarra backrower Ben Creagh is also under immense pressure after under-par displays in the opening two games of the series and Wests Tigers workaholic backrower Chris Heighington is pushing Nathan Hindmarsh for a place in the 17.

In-form Wests Tigers centre Chris Lawrence is competing with Penrith's Michael Jennings, who scored a brilliant hat-trick in his side's win over Manly on Friday for a place in the centres, with Beau Scott likely to keep his spot after a solid display on his debut.

Kurt Gidley's match winning effort for Newcastle against Gold Coast will increase pressure for the skipper to start the game from fullback instead of coming off the bench, especially after incumbent fullback Jarryd Hayne's poor display in Parramatta's 10-6 loss to Brisbane.

Knights coach Rick Stone has no doubt Gidley should be in the starting line-up after an inspirational performance at Skilled Park on Sunday.

"He's evolved tremendously, it's unquestioned how he leads a team, the way he went about his work when the team was under the pump you could see him rallying them from behind," said Stone after his side's 24-16 win.

"He's a genuine 80-minute Origin player, what he did at the back today not many blokes in the competition can do and he leads from the front every time.

"It just shows the strength of the character of the bloke and how strong and how much desire he has when he goes out on the field, as far as I am concerned his credentials as a captain ... are absolutely unquestioned."

Luke Lewis, who missed the Maroons' 34-6 demolition, after being found guilty of a dangerous throw charge at the NRL judiciary, is likely to return along with fit-again Manly enforcer Anthony Watmough to add some steel to the back row.

Canterbury hooker Michael Ennis is also under-pressure to keep his spot from Robbie Farah but is likely to survive with Farah struggling to overcome an ankle injury.

Possible team: J Hayne; M Gordon, M Jennings, B Scott, B Morris, T Barrett, M Pearce, K Snowden, M Ennis, B White, C Heighington, A Watmough, P Gallen. Interchange: J King, T Learoyd-Lahrs, K Gidley, L Lewis.

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