Advertisement

Bradman says he'll be in best condition for Origin III

Bradman Best insists he will be fit for the State of Origin decider despite requiring scans on a sore hamstring during the first day of NSW camp.

Recalled for next Wednesday's Origin III in place of the injured Latrell Mitchell, Best reported hamstring tightness to Newcastle medical staff after Sunday's away defeat of Canberra.

"Just at the end of the game it got tight, it was probably because of the travel and the coldness," said the in-form left centre.

Knights officials have since informed the Blues, who sent Best for scans on Monday and will monitor his progress ahead of game three at Suncorp Stadium.

Michael Maguire has included Canterbury's Matt Burton in his extended squad as cover but Best holds no fears over his ability to play in the winner-take-all decider.

"The physios will monitor me and it'll be all good," he said.

"Injuries are a part of the game, as footy players it comes with it and you sort of get your head around it. I'll make sure I get my body right and be all good to go."

Matt Burton
Matt Burton has been included in the Blues extended squad as possible cover for Bradman Best. (Steven Markham/AAP PHOTOS)

Best had maintained close contact with first-year Blues coach Maguire ahead of the series opener but was ruled out of contention with a previous hamstring issue.

After recovering, he was viewed as an obvious choice to replace Mitchell, offering similar power with his running game and expertise on the left edge.

"Bradman will bring what Bradman brings," Maguire said.

"Especially his development in the past 12 months, and sitting with Bradman, how he sees his game and his professionalism.

"He is a real pro about what he does. I talk to the staff up there and they say how diligent he is about how he gets everything right."

Best is set to line up against Newcastle teammate Dane Gagai, recalled into Queensland's backline to cover for injuries to Xavier Coates and Murray Taulagi.

It will mark the pair's first clash at Origin level, with Maroons veteran Gagai overlooked for selection in Best's only NSW appearance to date - the third match of the 2023 series.

"It's going to be special," Best said.

"He's one of the best centres. Obviously I train against him as well.

"He's the old bull and I'm the young bull, it's going to be a good battle."