Matty Johns calls out Brad Fittler over shock State of Origin snub

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Matty Johns and Brad Fittler, pictured here in State of Origin camp.
Matty Johns has called out Brad Fittler over his snubbing of Josh Addo-Carr. Image: Getty

Matty Johns has expressed his disbelief at Brad Fittler's failure to recall Josh Addo-Carr for State of Origin II, saying he was 'blown away' by the star winger's snub.

Fittler has made mass changes to his NSW side that lost 16-10 to Queensland in the series opener, however Addo-Carr is still on the outer.

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The Bulldogs winger had played in every series for NSW since Fittler's tenure began in 2018, but was overlooked for Game I as Daniel Tupou earned a recall.

Addo-Carr has been in scintillating form ever since the snub, scoring five tries in his last three games at club level.

However Fittler has stuck by Tupou for Origin II, leaving Johns stunned.

“I know people say you pick a side and see it out through the series,” Johns said on SEN radio on Monday.

“But if there are obvious changes after Game I, then you’ve got to make them.

“I’m still blown away there’s no Josh Addo-Carr, that really surprised me given his form over the last few weeks and how he has responded to his non-selection.

“Combining that with what he’s done in the past (at Origin level), that really surprised me.”

Josh Addo-Carr, pictured here in action for the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Josh Addo-Carr in action for the Canterbury Bulldogs. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Fittler axed Ryan Matterson, Kotoni Staggs, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Tariq Sims for Origin II, while Jack Wighton is a forced omission due to Covid-19.

Jacob Saifiti and Tyson Frizell were also left out of the extended squad after being included for Game I.

Fittler revealed on Monday that Api Koriosau will start at hooker in place of Damien Cook, with the regular No.9 to come off the bench.

Matt Burton will make his debut in the centres, while Cronulla wrecking ball Siosifa Talakai will also debut off the bench alongside recalled Roosters back-rower Angus Crichton.

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The mass changes have divided opinion in the NRL world, with Queensland great Corey Parker left gobsmacked.

According to Parker, Fittler made up his mind 'five minutes' after Origin I that certain players would be axed.

Campbell-Gillard starred for the Eels against the Roosters on Saturday night, but Parker believes Fittler had already decided to drop him.

“RCG was more than good, he was outstanding... but he (Fittler) had obviously already made the decision that he wasn’t going to pick him,” Parker told Fox Sports.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard, pictured here after NSW's loss in State of Origin I.
Reagan Campbell-Gillard looks on after NSW's loss in State of Origin I. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“I reckon Freddy made up his mind five minutes after Game I.

“At no stage are they going to put their hand up and say they got it wrong, but they got it wrong - clearly."

Johns said he believes Talakai's inclusion “was a good selection”, but suggested Fittler had diverted from previous philosophies.

“In previous successful series, Freddy just picked the best side and almost said, ‘Come out and stop us’," Johns added.

“(Talakai’s selection) is aggressive, it’s that X-factor if you need something, bring him off the bench, get him to wind up and create a bit of space for Nathan (Cleary).

“He’s really good and winding up and creating space in the middle of the field.”

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