The New South Wales Blues have named their squad for the 2012 State of Origin Game 3 decider at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday night, July 4, with one big change to the team that defeated Queensland 16 – 12 in game two.
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St George Illawarra winger Brett Morris will join twin brother Josh in a Blues jersey in Game 3 after the controversial decision by Blues coach Ricky Stuart to drop the ‘flying Fijian’ Akuila Uate from the squad.
Uate played a big part in the Blues’ make-up during last year’s Origin series but just hasn’t been at his best this year, defensively making plenty of errors which was too big a risk for the final showdown.
“He’s young, he’s had a bit of pressure on him over the last two games,” Stuart said.
“He handled it very well, but they’re going to keep coming down that edge so I’ve had to look at it.”
In his 19-man squad Stuart has named Glenn Stewart in the second row despite the Manly Sea Eagle having suffered a partial medial ligament tear only a week ago.
“He’s coming out of the brace and I think he deserves every opportunity to make himself available,” Stuart said.
“He’s been a huge part of it, the last two series. I don’t want to put a timeframe on it.
“We’ll assess it and give him some time over the next two or three days and monitor where he’s at.”
Helping conceal his exact starting line-up for the Blues back-row Stuart also has fellow Manly player Tony Williams, who was outstanding in the Sea Eagles’ big 52 – 14 annihilation of the Sydney Roosters on Sunday, and Beau Scott on the six-man bench.
Hulking Manly back-rower Williams missed Origin game two due to injury but looked bigger and better than ever in his return on the weekend.
“He played 80 minutes and his touches were assists for the first two tries,” Stuart said.
“He’s played himself into the squad today.
“He gives us a different style of football if he is selected.”
The rest of the line-up remains untouched with all the key players still in position for the big bash.
Despite New South Wales getting the better of the six-time defending series champions down in Sydney for game two, the Queensland Maroons are the red hot favourites to win the tiebreaker paying $1.60 through bookmaker.com.au.
The Maroons will name their side, which is tipped to be the biggest in history hitting up to 21 tentative players, later today.
Not only will the mighty Maroons secure the 2012 State of Origin series with a win on Wednesday week, they will also be posting their incredible seventh straight series success, forever stamping their authority on the game.
The Blues meanwhile pay $2.35 in the latest State of Origin betting markets, a juicy price for all those New South Welshmen looking to get behind their boys.
Closer to match game there will be a wider range of State of Origin odds and wagering options released.
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2012 State of Origin Game 3 – New South Wales Team
Suncorp Stadium – Wednesday July 4, 2012