NSW selector shuts down State of Origin speculation: 'Don't think so'

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Blues advisor Greg Alexander (pictured) during training.
Blues advisor Greg Alexander (pictured) has defended the decision to make sweeping changes to the NSW side for State of Origin. (Getty Images)

Blues selector Greg Alexander has moved to shut down speculation over the team's starting line-up with fans waiting to see if coach Brad Fittler makes last second changes ahead of State of Origin Game 2.

Fittler has been under pressure after announcing seven changes to the team that lost to Queensland at home 16-10.

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The Blues coach will hope those changes will stir a reaction given NSW haven't lost the opening game in Sydney and gone on to win the series since 1994.

The most notable change has led to regular hooker Damien Cook being benched for Api Koroisau.

Jake Trbojevic has been recalled to the starting side after missing out on Origin I altogether.

Trbojevic will play at prop with Junior Paulo, who remains one of the game's best pace-setting props but was ineffective as an interchange forward in Origin I, coming off the bench again.

However, hours before the game, speculation was still running wild over the starting team.

And Alexander fronted the media and told them it didn't matter if there were changes to the team.

“No, I don’t think so,” Alexander said on whether there would be changes.

“But that’s the coach’s prerogative though and that happens weekly.

“So if we did make a change well I don’t see the massive deal in it. But there won’t be any changes.”

Alexander confident with Blues changes in State of Origin

Fittler came under fire for the number of changes made to the 17, considering Game 1 was only decided by a converted try.

However, Alexander defended the decision.

“The boys that have come in apart from Matt Burton have been here before,” Alexander added.

“Api Koroisau was part of game one camp as a player from 18 to 21, so Api knows what to do.

NSW Brad Fittler (pictured left) speaking at a media conference.
NSW Brad Fittler (pictured left) defended his decision to make changes for the Blues ahead of State of Origin in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

“Cooky knows his role. Everyone is pretty good in knowing what they need to do.

“Tonight’s game is not so much about the players that have come into the side, but just the game that NSW play.”

On Saturday, Fittler hit out at the critics over the selections NSW made for Game 2.

"I've got to pick a team that's going to win and I make no apologies for that," he said.

"It's been a great week of training and I feel like we've made some good decisions."

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