Ryan Papenhuyzen, Cameron McInnes or Jarome Luai could make their Origin debut as a bench utility in Wednesday's decider at Suncorp Stadium after being named in the NSW reserves behind an unchanged 17.
Raiders winger Nick Cotric is also in the 21 on standby for Josh Addo-Carr, who injured a toe in game two but who is expected to be fit for game three.
Blues coach Brad Fittler has hinted several times since the 34-10 game two win that not carrying a utility was a risk the team probably couldn't afford again, and having now included three of them in the 21, he will give himself and the coaching staff until Tuesday to decide if one will force their way into the 17.
Papenhuyzen was unavailable for the first two games after injuring a calf in the Storm's grand final win but has trained this week and offers a speedy threat off the bench if the Blues opt to go that way.
"You don't want to anticipate someone getting hurt but you need to be able to cover everyone," Fittler said on Thursday as he confirmed Papenhuyzen was fit for selection.
Match: Maroons v Blues
Game 3 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
"He's just so fast. Wouldn't you love to be that fast? It'd feel awesome," Fittler laughed.
McInnes was the frame for game two up until almost kick-off after Damien Cook was released from hospital on Tuesday having spent the night there due to a boil on his leg.
Luai would be very much the bolter and only really covers the halves, though Fittler praised the energy the young Panthers – Luai and Stephen Crichton – brought into camp.
Match: Maroons v Blues
Game 3 -
Fullback for Maroons is number 5 Corey AllanFullback for Blues is number 1 James Tedesco
Winger for Maroons is number 1 Valentine HolmesWinger for Blues is number 2 Daniel Tupou
Centre for Maroons is number 4 Dane GagaiCentre for Blues is number 3 Clinton Gutherson
Centre for Maroons is number 21 Brenko LeeCentre for Blues is number 4 Jack Wighton
Winger for Maroons is number 19 Edrick LeeWinger for Blues is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
Five-Eighth for Maroons is number 6 Cameron MunsterFive-Eighth for Blues is number 6 Cody Walker
Halfback for Maroons is number 7 Daly Cherry-EvansHalfback for Blues is number 7 Nathan Cleary
Prop for Maroons is number 8 Christian WelchProp for Blues is number 8 Daniel Saifiti
Hooker for Maroons is number 9 Jake FriendHooker for Blues is number 9 Damien Cook
Prop for Maroons is number 10 Josh PapaliiProp for Blues is number 10 Payne Haas
2nd Row for Maroons is number 3 Kurt Capewell2nd Row for Blues is number 11 Angus Crichton
2nd Row for Maroons is number 11 Felise Kaufusi2nd Row for Blues is number 12 Tyson Frizell
Lock for Maroons is number 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleauiLock for Blues is number 13 Jake Trbojevic
Interchange for Maroons is number 12 Jaydn Su'AInterchange for Blues is number 14 Dale Finucane
Interchange for Maroons is number 14 Harry GrantInterchange for Blues is number 15 Junior Paulo
Interchange for Maroons is number 15 Lindsay CollinsInterchange for Blues is number 16 Nathan Brown
Interchange for Maroons is number 16 Jai ArrowInterchange for Blues is number 17 Isaah Yeo
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Chris Butler
- Touch Judge: Todd Smith
"I'm so happy when I see those [Penrith] lads come in. Penrith's OK. They're good kids, they go out hard," he said.
If a utility does force their way into the side, it would be an unlucky blow for one of the NSW bench forwards, each of whom was strong in game two.
The most likely casualty would be Nathan Brown, who was given 15 minutes in the middle then brought on for the final three minutes at hooker, but was impressive while on the field.
It is unlikely to be Panthers lock Isaah Yeo who would make way after his eye-catching 40 minutes off the bench in game two. Fittler has previously said Yeo is in the squad as a utility forward who can cover middle and edge despite him playing in the No.13 all year for Penrith.
It was that utility value that got him onto the field initially after Tyson Frizell was sent for a HIA.
"It helps in a squad where there is so much talent I'm fortunate enough to be able to play a couple of roles and I think I showed that," Yeo said.
Munster named, Hunt dropped as Blues remain unchanged
"I came on as a back-rower then moved into the middle.
"It was unreal, it's something you grow up watching and one day dream hopefully you can play there and I was fortunate enough to do that."
Yeo also praised the dominant game-two efforts of clubmate Nathan Cleary.
"Everyone's got an opinion in the media at the moment, after the first game. I think he really silenced those, I think he was our best player and led us around really well," Yeo added.
Game three tickets are on sale. Get in now to avoid disappointment