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Mitch Moses is in the mix for his Origin debut but the Blues will be "all about winning" rather than looking to the future when they replace Nathan Cleary, who is out for at least the next month.

With the Panthers confirming on Wednesday their star halfback would delay a potentially season-ending shoulder operation, Moses has a golden chance to impress the NSW selectors for game three when his Eels take on Penrith on Friday night. 

Blues advisor Greg Alexander confirmed Moses was a chance for his first call-up but said more-experienced options like Jack Wighton, Adam Reynolds and even Knights veteran Mitchell Pearce would be considered.

A dead-rubber could be viewed as the perfect time to blood Moses, 26, in the Origin arena, but Alexander insisted their main selection concern was ensuring they clinched a rare series sweep.

Blues coach Brad Fittler and his offsiders will also look at elevating Wighton into the starting team, pushing Jarome Luai to No.7.

"We could do that. Jarome will run around at halfback [for Penrith] on Friday night, so that's an option," Alexander told

RCG backs Moses to play Origin III

"And then the [other] option is to pick someone that has been playing seven all year. That's Mitch Moses, Adam Reynolds.

"Junior [Mitchell] Pearce probably hasn't played enough footy, he's only been back for a game after a 10-week sideline stint, but he's another halfback. He was there in 2019.

"That's about it. They're the options and we'll just wait and see what happens over the weekend. I think we're pretty sure which way we're leaning, but not 100%. We'll just see what happens.

"You can have all good intentions picking someone, but they've got to get through the weekend with hopefully no injuries or suspensions."

Given Cleary is still only young despite his achievements, bringing in a rookie half with an eye on the years ahead isn't a priority.

"It's all about winning, it's not looking to the future. Nathan's 23 and he's been the halfback for the last four years. I don't see any reason why that would change going forward," Alexander said.

If the Blues opt to play Wighton at five-eighth, they'll need to find a new interchange utility.

Panthers hooker Api Koroisau has been 18th man throughout the Ampol State of Origin series but Alexander said NSW would look at picking someone who can provide cover on the edges as well as playing in the middle.

"It would more likely be someone who could play in the outside backs," Alexander added.

Meanwhile, Jake Trbojevic is doubtful to prove his fitness in time to reclaim his spot for Origin III after missing the second match in Brisbane with a hip-pointer injury that hasn't recovered.

If he were again to be ruled out, bench forward Liam Martin would seem assured of holding his place in the 17.

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"I don't think Jake's going to be fit but we'll wait and see. Jake won't play this weekend, so we'll have to wait and see what happens, speak to Jake and Manly," Alexander said. 

Logistical complications stemming from COVID-19 restrictions mean it's very unlikely Cleary will be around the squad in game three, which was set to be played in Sydney but is not yet finalised.

Cleary played 70 minutes with a partial dislocation suffered early in Sunday night's series-clinching 26-0 win for NSW.

His return later in the season is a huge boost to Penrith's 2021 premiership charge.

Crucially, the star playmaker has been told he will be able to rehab and play through the pain of the partially dislocated shoulder, with a corrective operation delayed until the end of the season.

In the meantime, Bulldogs-bound five-eighth Matt Burton offers a replacement for the Panthers that few other clubs could entertain if they lost their chief playmaker.

NSW and Panthers lock Isaah Yeo - who battled through a similar injury to Cleary in 2019 - said his teammate can expect recurring damage.

"Everyone is different, but it's sore," Yeo said.

"He's extremely tough to put that aside and have it happen again in the second half [of Origin II].

"But I think that's what the rehab does. All the physio, trying to limit that happening again. It will happen at times but hopefully not as bad.

"He's extremely tough and we're very lucky we've got some quality physios here and we've put ourselves in the position where he can take those four or six [weeks] to really get it right leading into the finals.

"He's sore but he's the ultimate professional."

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