Cleary and Sims both named for NSW but Maroons without Ponga for Origin III

Australia World

Updated July 01, 2019 18:40:59

NSW coach Brad Fittler has named Nathan Cleary and Tariq Sims for the State of Origin decider, despite both players being in doubt for the clash.

Cleary is attempting to recover in time from an ankle sprain, while Sims will fight to overturn a dangerous contact charge at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday.

David Klemmer was overlooked despite his successful return from a wrist injury over the weekend, although Fittler confirmed he had been placed on standby, should Sims be banned.

The St George Illawarra backrower was set to face a two-game suspension, but will fight a grade two charge for dangerous contact after a late shot on Cowboys’ Michael Morgan from Friday night’s match.

Klemmer was ruled out of game two after it was revealed he played the majority of game one at Lang Park with a fracture in his wrist.

However, the Knights enforcer ran for 205 metres and made a game high 42 tackles as Newcastle beat Brisbane 26-12 on Saturday.

After making seven changes from the side that lost game one in Brisbane, Fittler has kept faith with the side that blew Queensland away in Perth.

Parramatta Eels’ utility Clint Gutherson has been named 18th man.

New South Wales squad

Player NRL club
1. James Tedesco Sydney Roosters
2. Josh Addo-Carr Melbourne Storm
3. Tom Trbojevic Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
4. Jack Wighton Canberra Raiders
5. Blake Ferguson Parramatta Eels
6. James Maloney Penrith Panthers
7. Nathan Cleary Penrith Panthers
8. Daniel Saifiti      Newcastle Knights
9. Damien Cook South Sydney Rabbitohs
10. Paul Vaughan St George Illawarra Dragons
11. Tyson Frizell St George Illawarra Dragons
12. Boyd Cordner (c) Sydney Roosters
13. Jake Trbojevic   Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
14. Dale Finucane Melbourne Storm
15. Tariq Sims St George Illawarra Dragons
16. Cameron Murray South Sydney Rabbitohs
17. Wade Graham  Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
18. Clint Gutherson Parramatta Eels

Coach: Brad Fittler

Ponga out injured as Walters wields selection axe

Injury-hit Queensland has named Corey Norman and Christian Welch to make their State of Origin debut in the series decider in Sydney on July 10.

Maroons coach Kevin Walters on Monday named a game-three squad in alphabetical order, casting some doubt as to who would feature in what position.

Who would run out at fullback is of particular focus after incumbent Kalyn Ponga suffered a calf injury and was ruled out.

Walters said he had already decided who would wear the number one jersey but would not make it official until after he told the player, saying he was not short of options, nominating Norman, Michael Morgan, Cameron Munster and Moses Mbye as fullback contenders.

“There is a list a mile long,” Walters said.

“We are very fortunate in that department that we have a lot of great and talented players that will do the job for Queensland.

“Whichever player is given the jersey, he will get the job done.”

Despite the speculation, St George Illawarra’s Norman is tipped to feature in the halves in a reshuffled backline.

Queensland will also have a new-look pack, with Brisbane’s Joe Ofahengaue returning from a knee injury and Melbourne prop Welch to make his debut.

Canterbury’s Dylan Napa and the Gold Coast’s Jarrod Wallace have been dropped.

Norman is tipped to partner captain Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves, capping a remarkable turnaround for the 27-year-old.

He was on the Origin outer after being fined $20,000 and suspended for the final eight weeks of the 2016 season for a string of offences — including pleading guilty to drug possession, although his conviction was overturned on appeal.

But Norman has hit top form since moving from Parramatta to the Dragons this season, earning him his first Origin nod after 180 NRL games since his 2010 debut.

“That [Norman’s past] is irrelevant. Corey is that type of player, I think the bigger the occasion the better he will go,” Walters said.

Welch, 24, is expected to make his Origin debut off the bench, replacing Wallace.

Ofahengaue returns to the team after missing Queensland’s 38-6 loss to NSW with a knee gash and is tipped to replace Napa in the starting front row.

Bulldogs enforcer Napa appears to be an unlucky omission.

He overcame a broken wrist to start for Queensland in game two but was limited to just 23 minutes game time by Walters.

Napa and Wallace paid the price for the Queensland pack’s underwhelming game two display in which just one Maroons forward — back rower Felise Kaufusi — ran for 100 metres.

Walters was still confident Queensland could seal their 12th series in 14 years.

The Maroons have won the last two series deciders in Sydney — in 2008 and 2013.

Queensland squad

Player NRL club
Will Chambers Melbourne Storm
Daly Cherry-Evans (c) Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
David Fifita Brisbane Broncos
Dane Gagai South Sydney Rabbitohs
Matt Gillett Brisbane Broncos
Tim Glasby Newcastle Knights
Ben Hunt St George Illawarra Dragons
Felise Kaufusi Melbourne Storm
Moses Mbye Wests Tigers
Josh McGuire North Queensland Cowboys
Michael Morgan North Queensland Cowboys
Cameron Munster Melbourne Storm
Corey Norman St George Illawarra Dragons
Corey Oates Brisbane Broncos
Joe Ofahengaue Brisbane Broncos
Josh Papalii Canberra Raiders
Christian Welch Melbourne Storm

Coach: Kevin Walters

AAP/ABC

Topics: state-of-origin, rugby-league, sport, qld, australia

First posted July 01, 2019 09:23:01

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