Australia

New South Wales names Crichton, Finucane in State of Origin II squad


New South Wales has included Angus Crichton and Dale Finucane in its squad to replace the injured Jake Trbojevic for State of Origin II.

The Blues opted to name an extended 20-player squad in alphabetical order rather than a starting line-up, leaving Queensland guessing on their team for next Sunday night’s clash in Brisbane.

The Maroons are expected to announce their squad on Monday morning.

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

The other option would see Crichton enter as an edge back rower who can also play in the middle if required next Sunday, be it off the bench or in the starting line-up.

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

The squad is otherwise unchanged as they prepare to fly to Kingscliff in northern New south Wales for camp on Monday.

The Blues won the series opening 50-6 in Townsville earlier this month but they expect the Maroons to be a different proposition in Brisbane.

They have not sealed a series win at Lang Park since the 2005 decider, while their last victory at the venue in any match came in 2017.

The Blues have won just 19 of 57 matches at Lang Park in the history of State of Origin, and just two of their past 14.

“It’s always going to be a good challenge up at Suncorp (Lang Park) and something that everyone looks forward to,” Blues halfback Nathan 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.”

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


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