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Mitchell axed, seven changes for NSW Blues Origin 2 team

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16th June, 2019
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The New South Wales Blues have made sevens changes to their squad for Game 2 of the State of Origin series, with injuries playing havoc on Brad Fittler’s plans.

While many of the changes are forced for the Blues, the backline will be a completely different looking one ahead of Game 2.

Latrell Mitchell, Josh Morris and Nick Cotric will all be missing, the former two axed and the latter through injury.

It means Jack Wighton moves from the bench to the centres despite his extremely limited impact during Game 1 of the series as the utility, while Blake Ferguson and Tom Trbojevic come in on the wing and in the centres respectively.

They have also made a swap in the halves, with Cody Walker, who had a pretty poor Game 1, axed He struggled to get involved with the play and has been displaced alongside Nathan Cleary in the halves, with James Maloney called up to the squad.

Mitchell Pearce was originally thought to be holding the inside running on the spot in the halves, however, picked up an injury playing for the Knights yesterday.

In the forwards, the Blues have also been forced into another couple of changes, with David Klemmer ruled out for the rest of the series with a broken wrist picked up in the series-opening loss, and Payne Haas picking up a strained hamstring in the Broncos heavy loss to the Eels during Round 13.

Klemmer has been sensationally replaced by Daniel Saifiti.

Saifiti is something of a left-field selection for the Blues, but his form has been solid with the Knights and he could provide the impact needed off the bench with the loss of Haas. He slots straight into the starting pack.

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On the bench, Haas has been replaced by Dale Finucane. Jordan McLean was originally thought to be the front-runner, but misses the squad with injury.

Finucane has been a strong performer for years at the Storm, and will do a strong job, bulking up the Blues stocks in the middle third of the field.

The Blues bench will take a very different shape for Game 2, with no utility. Wighton, who moves to the centres, has his spot taken by Tariq Sims, while Wade Graham takes the spot of Angus Crichton, who has been dropped after a lacklustre Game 1.

Game 2 will be played on Sunday, June 23 at Optus Stadium in Perth, with kick-off scheduled for 7:50pm (AEST).

NSW Blues team for Origin 2

1 James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
2 Blake Ferguson (Parramatta Eels)
3 Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
4 Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders)
5 Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm)
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 Boyd Cordner (c) (Sydney Roosters)
12 Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons)
13 Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)

Interchange
14 Dale Finucane (Melbourne Storm)
15 Tariq Sims (St George Illawarra Dragons)
16 Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
17 Wade Graham (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)