NSW make 7 changes for State of Origin II
SYDNEY (AP) — New South Wales coach Brad Fittler made seven changes to his lineup for next week’s second State of Origin rugby league match against Queensland, dropping star center Latrell Mitchell on his 22nd birthday.
Mitchell along with Cody Walker, Angus Crichton and Josh Morris have been omitted after New South Wales’ 18-14 loss in the first match of the three-match series. David Klemmer, Payne Haas and Nick Cotric have been forced out with injuries.
Fittler has called in Blake Ferguson, Tom Trbojevic, James Maloney, Daniel Saifiti, Dale Finucane, Wade Graham and Tariq Sims in a completely new-look side for the match in Perth on June 23.
Trbojevic and Jack Wighton will combine in the center though neither plays in those positions for their clubs while Saifiti is named to make his State of Origin debut.
Mitchell is a surprise omission despite his poor performance in the first match of the series.
Meanwhile, Queensland coach Kevin Walters has made only two changes, both forced by injuries, to the team that took a 1-0 lead in the series.
Tim Glasby and Jarrod Wallace have been recalled in place of Joe Ofahengaue who has a knee injury and Jai Arrow who will miss the rest of the series with an ankle injury.
Wallace and Glasby will both start from the bench with Dylan Napa promoted to the front-row to take Arrow’s position in the starting 13.
New South Wales: James Tedesco, Blake Ferguson, Tom Trbojevic, Jack Wighton, Josh Addo-Carr, James Maloney, Nathan Cleary, Daniel Saifiti, Damien Cook, Paul Vaughan, Boyd Cordner (captain), Tyson Frizell, Jake Trbojevic. Reserves: Dale Finucane, Tariq Sims, Cameron Murray, Wade Graham.
Queensland: Kalyn Ponga, Corey Oates, Michael Morgan, Will Chambers, Dane Gagai, Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans (captain), Dylan Napa, Ben Hunt, Josh Papalii, Felise Kaufusi, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire. Reserves: Moses Mbye, Jarrod Wallace, Tim Glasby, David Fifita.
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