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The Roar


Blues duo on track for Origin but fitness concerns lingering for Latrell

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14th June, 2023

Injured NSW forwards Liam Martin and Cameron Murray are on track to play in the must-win second State of Origin match but question marks remain over teammate Latrell Mitchell, who missed media commitments on Wednesday.

The experienced Blues trio are racing to be fit for the clash at Suncorp Stadium on June 21, after entering camp on Tuesday.

Martin suffered a category-one head knock playing for Penrith on Saturday night that rules him out of contact training until captain’s run.

South Sydney’s Murray and Mitchell are nursing groin and calf injuries respectively, with the latter missing the series opener through his niggle.

All three have become Blues stalwarts in recent years but NSW coach Brad Fittler admitted on Tuesday they were “risks” for Game II despite being named in the team.

The Souths duo ran at training on Monday and were approved by club medical staff to enter camp, though coach Jason Demetriou told AAP there were still hurdles to clear this week.

Neither is expected to train with the Blues until Sunday, only one day before the side flies to Brisbane in a bid to level the Origin series behind enemy lines.


Murray is backing himself to recover from the injury he suffered in the Rabbitohs’ win over Gold Coast in round 14.

“I don’t have a crystal ball but I’m confident I can be there,” Murray told AAP.

“I ran today for the third time since I did it and I’m obviously progressing nicely.

“I’m focusing on what I can control. That’s just about being diligent with my rehab and my prep and obviously connecting with the boys.

“It’s about making sure that come Wednesday, I didn’t die wondering and I gave myself every opportunity.”

Mitchell was a no-show at the Blues’ whole squad media day in Coogee on Wednesday, instead spending the afternoon with club physiotherapists.

“From what I can see he’s doing well. Hopefully he’s okay,” Murray said.


Blues captain James Tedesco believed Mitchell would line up on Wednesday along with Murray and Martin.

“They all did some testing today and looked pretty good,” the fullback told AAP.

“I know they’re all doing everything they can to make sure they’re fresh and healthy.”

Martin was cleared to enter camp by Panthers medical staff, who assessed him 48 hours after his head knock against the Sydney Roosters.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 10: Liam Martin of the Panthers walks off for HIA and receives medical attention during the round 15 NRL match between Sydney Roosters and Penrith Panthers at Allianz Stadium on June 10, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

Liam Martin. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

The second-rower has not suffered concussion symptoms but is still subject to the 11-day stand-down policy instituted for category-one head knocks this season. 

Martin set the standard for the Blues with a physical performance in the series opener but cannot participate in contact training until Tuesday, the day before the game.


The dual premiership-winner is looking for positives amid his absence from the tackle drills, though.

“I’m not too worried about it,” Martin told AAP.

“You do that much in the pre-season and in the early months (of the season). You’ve got enough in the bank that you don’t really need to be doing too much at this time of year. 

“It’s probably going to work in my favour, if anything, just resting a bit.”