Angus Crichton (pic) comes into a 20-man Blues squad along with Dale Finucane for Origin II. Image by Darren Pateman/AAP PHOTOS

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NSW bring in Finucane and Angus Crichton

2021-06-20 19:51:31

NSW have brought in Angus Crichton and Dale Finucane into their squad to replace the injured Jake Trbojevic in State of Origin II.

The Blues on Sunday night opted to name a 20-man squad in alphabetical order rather than a starting 17, leaving Queensland guessing on their team make up.

The squad presents coach Brad Fittler with two options, one of which would have Finucane come into the side as another middle after debuting in 2019.

The other would see Crichton enter as an edge backrower who can also play middle if required next Sunday, be it off the bench or starting.

Either way, it appears certain Payne Haas will start after coming off the bench in Game I.

The squad is otherwise unchanged as they prepare to fly to Kingscliff for camp on Monday.

While Queensland’s struggles continue at club level with Brisbane and Gold Coast in the wars, the selections mean NSW will take a red-hot side to Suncorp.

Tom Trbojevic and Nathan Cleary were the two stand-out players of the weekend alongside Kiwi Jahrome Hughes, with Trbojevic scoring a hat-trick and setting up another four tries on Sunday.

Sixteen of the Blues’ 20 players experienced wins before entering camp, after coach Brad Fittler stressed the importance of taking their Origin form back to club football.

“Freddy always talks about it when we break camp, you have to go back and do the job for your clubs again and be the best players on the field,” halfback Cleary said. 

“We want to do that anyway. We (Panthers boys) feel like we owe it to the Penrith team and fans who turn up to go out and get a win.”

But NSW are also well aware it will be a different story at the Maroons cauldron.

They have not sealed a series win at Suncorp since the 2005 decider, while NSW’s last victory at the ground in any game came in 2017.

The Blues have won just 19 of 57 games there in the history of Origin, and just two of their past 14.

But few Blues teams have hit Lang Park in the kind of form this current one is in. 

“It’s always going to be a good challenge up at Suncorp and something that everyone looks forward to,” Cleary said. 

“We know it will be a completely different Queensland team that turns up and one of the hardest games we play. 

“It’s a very tough place to play. Until recently it was for the Broncos as well. 

“The fans up there always get behind them and they grow another leg playing there.”

NSW TEAM FOR STATE OF ORIGIN TWO: 

James Tedesco (capt), Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell, Tom Trbojevic, Brian To’o, Jarome Luai, Nathan Cleary, Daniel Saifiti, Damien Cook, Payne Haas, Angus Crichton, Tariq Sims, Isaah Yeo, Jack Wighton, Junior Paulo, Cameron Murray, Liam Martin, Dale Finucane, Apisai Koroisau and Campbell Graham.