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Johns not certain for Origin

By Michael Crutcher 14/07/2003 07:52:00 PM Comments (0)

Coach Phil Gould thinks it will be "tragic" if captain Andrew Johns isn't well enough to lift the State of Origin shield for NSW on Wednesday night.

But whether Johns recovers in time from a viral infection to play the final match of the series remains anyone's guess because the Blues gave away little.

Some sports bookmakers have even suspended betting on the match until they learn more about Johns' health.

The halfback was at least well enough to travel to Brisbane to join his teammates, hours after Bulldogs halfback Brent Sherwin arrived on standby for the skipper.

Johns attended NSW training at Suncorp Stadium but Gould said Robbie Kearns would take over as captain and lift the shield, which the Blues had already won from Queensland, if Johns was too sick.

"It will be tragic if he's not there but he'll live on. He'll be back," Gould said.

"Andrew is a real concern at the moment.

"He's got headaches, he's got neck aches, he's worried about all sorts of silly things there.

"I'm not confident.

"I'm trying to get the side ready with Brent Sherwin at halfback and that's my goal for the next 48 hours.

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