Minichiello to undergo fitness test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Minichiello to undergo fitness test

13/06/2007 05:50:49 AM Comments (0)

NSW will give injured fullback Anthony Minichiello until the last minute to prove his fitness for Wednesday night's second State of Origin rugby league clash with Queensland at Telstra Stadium.

Minichiello is in serious doubt with back pain with the Blues saying they will decide on his availability on Wednesday afternoon.

NSW don't have to finalise their starting side until one hour prior to kick off.

Manly flyer Brett Stewart was on Tuesday called into the team and placed on standby and will make his Origin debut in the must-win clash if Minichiello is ruled out.

NSW must defeat Queensland to send the series into a decider at Suncorp Stadium on July 4.

After more than 170mm - around seven inches - of rain over the weekend, officials feared Telstra Stadium might be in poor condition however the well-drained playing surface should be in excellent order for the 8.10pm kickoff.

Fine weather is forecast for the game, the 80th since Origin began in 1980.

The Maroons come-from-behind victory in the opening match in Brisbane three weeks ago gives them a 39-38 lead in all Origin encounters, with two drawn.

Remarkably, Queensland also lead the overall scoring tally by the barest of margins - 1261 points to 1260.

But the Maroons have never won at Telstra Stadium in 11 matches, prompting bookmakers to make the home side $1.80 favourites.

More than 6000 tickets remain unsold on match eve. Officials expect a crowd of around 75,000.

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