The New South Wales Blues will be without one of their best players for the 2020 State of Origin series, after Tom Trbojevic was ruled out through injury.
Trbojevic, who was one of the Blues’ top performers in their 2019 victory, has battled various hamstring and shoulder injuries all season for the Sea Eagles and made the decision to withdraw from the Origin squad to focus on getting healthy for the 2021 season.
“We appreciate the effort by Tom and the Manly Sea Eagles to try to get him ready for Origin,” NSW coach Brad Fittler said.
“It must have been a difficult but selfless decision for Tom to put the team first ahead of his desire to play in the series next month.”
Trbojevic was one of five players named by Fittler in his initial Blues squad on Sunday night, alongside brother Jake, Payne Haas, Tyson Frizell and Cameron McInnes.
Having played in the centres in Games 2 and 3 last year, his injury opens up a spot in the backline for the likes of St George Illawarra’s Zac Lomax or Penrith’s Stephen Crichton to make their way into the 27-man squad for the November series.
The Blues will continue to reveal the make-up of their squad each Sunday, after more teams are eliminated from the NRL finals.