James, Keary, Prior added to Blues squad for Origin II
Gold Coast Titans forward Ryan James is one of three new players called in the NSW Blues squad that will attempt to win the Holden State of Origin series at ANZ Stadium next Sunday night.
Cronulla Sharks prop Matt Prior and Sydney Roosters half Luke Keary have also been added to a 20-man squad that will assemble in Sydney on Sunday night.
The only player missing from the team that scored a 22-12 win over Queensland in the series opener at the MCG on June 6 is Reagan Campbell-Gillard. The Panthers prop suffered a broken jaw in Friday night's match against the Sydney Roosters.
NSW centre Latrell Mitchell will need to prove his fitness after suffering a neck injury on Friday night, while the remainder of the squad will also need to prove they got through their weekend matches in the Telstra Premiership unscathed.
Nick Cotric - who was the 18th man for the Blues in game one - has been left out of the squad for game two.
A pair of incidents to Campbell Gillard’s front-row partner David Klemmer, however, could also be cause for concern.
As the Bulldogs big man made every effort to keep his side in the game against the Titans on Saturday afternoon, he let two questionable tackles slip as his side went down 32-10 at Belmore Sports Ground.
Blues coach Brad Fittler believes the first, coming in the 22nd minute, is nothing to worry about, while the second – a 79th-minute late hit on AJ Brimson – is more likely to attract the attention of the NRL match review committee.
“There was a head high and the head high’s fine,” Fittler told NSWRL.com.au, referring to the first-half incident. “I think the other one, we have this fine system now for minor charges.
“He sort of went in, his arms were open, I’m not sure if he made contact with his head. I didn’t look at it that close and they didn’t show it that many times either. I feel good.”
Fittler has uncapped front-rowers Prior and James in his squad although the NSW coach’s decision was not influenced by concerns about Klemmer.
“No, I just wanted to get them both out,” Fittler said. “I haven’t met either of them, I’ve been fans of both of them for a long time. It was just something I wanted to do, getting people who are taking the joint forward.”
NSW squad: Josh Addo-Carr, Nathan Cleary, Damien Cook, Boyd Cordner, Angus Crichton, Jack De Belin, Tyson Frizell, Ryan James, Luke Keary, David Klemmer, James Maloney, Latrell Mitchell, Tyrone Peachey, Matt Prior, James Roberts, Tariq Sims, James Tedesco, Jake Trbojevic, Tom Trbojevic, Paul Vaughan.
Game I is done and dusted! Don’t miss Game II of Origin at ANZ Stadium on Sunday 24 June. Click here to get your tickets