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Blues forward Liam Martin.

Panthers back-rower Liam Martin welcomed the challenge of keeping his spot in the NSW side ahead of an individual match-up with Blues hopeful Angus Crichton on Friday night.

Crichton is expected to come into the calculations after missing Origin I through suspension but Martin is out to ensure it's not at his expense.

If Blues coach Brad Fittler opts to bring Crichton back, either Martin or Dragons forward Tariq Sims appear likely to make way.

Sims produced one of the games of his career for NSW in the series opener, leaving Fittler with a selection headache for the second game at Suncorp Stadium on June 27.

"Once you get that sky blue [jersey], you don't want to lose it so I'll be doing everything possible to try and secure my spot," Martin said on Wednesday.

"Getting that taste, it's an arena I want to be in, just such an incredible experience.

Panthers v Roosters - Round 15

"Angus is big, strong and mobile so he'll be fired up and ready to go.

"I'm sure he'll put his best foot forward and it will be interesting. We'll leave that up to Freddy, I'm sure he'll make the right decisions.

That's not really the aim [to play better than him]. I just want to do what I can for Penrith and help get the wins. We've had two losses in a row now and we want to turn it around. I'll do whatever it takes."

Panthers co-captains Isaah Yeo and Nathan Cleary, who have played alongside both players, said the individual match-up was worth tuning in for alone.

"It will be a great battle, one of many across the park," Yeo said.

"They're both very tough and suited to the arena with the way they play. I'm supporting my Penrith teammate."

Cleary said both players brought different styles to the NSW side, adding it was a good headache to have considering Queensland's selection issues run far deeper after their Game One capitulation.

"They both bring a presence, Angus is one of the best line runners in the game whereas Marto brings that aggression and can get under people's skin," Cleary said.

"I'm sure Marto will be doing everything he can to get a team win. I thought he was outstanding [in Origin I], just in typical Marto fashion trying to get under the skin of players.

Clear mind and fresh focus key for Cleary

"He brought that aggression and I thought he did a really good job. 

"Angus will be out there trying to get back into the Origin team and of course he has to be up against me so I'll be the one tackling him."

Meanwhile, Cleary said he was healing well from a facial laceration in the series opener despite his cheekbone area likely to remain stitched up for the Roosters stoush.

Maroons v Blues

"It feels a lot better than it probably looks. I've got full vision and I forget about it until I look in the mirror," he said.

"I think I'll probably play with the stitches in [this week] but it's pretty healed over.

"A direct hit might split it open again but I'm not too worried about it."

The Panthers will be looking to avoid a third consecutive loss when they host the Roosters at BlueBet Stadium on Friday after surrendering top spot on the Telstra Premiership ladder to Mebourne last week.


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