Vaughan ready to step up for Blues

Matt Encarnacion
Paul Vaughan is happy to take the first carry for NSW against Queensland in Origin III

NSW front-rower Paul Vaughan has put his hand up to take the initial carry at Suncorp Stadium in his first State of Origin start.

Having made his debut in game one this year, Vaughan has been moved into the starting line-up by coach Brad Fittler after dropping Matt Prior from their game two triumph.

"I'm pretty stoked to be honest. I only found out yesterday through the team announcement, which was pretty cool. It's a massive job and massive shoes to fill," Vaughan said on Tuesday.

The St George Illawarra star, who has emerged as one of the game's premier props for the ladder leaders, said he is keen to take the ball from the kick-off.

"It'll be pretty cool to get my hands on the ball nice and early, get in the game. It's always one thing I like to do - try and get involved as early as I can and go off the back of that," he said.

"Either way I'll be trying to get in the game nice and early.

"I think the hit-up that I had at the MCG off the kick off, that was pretty cool. But to start a game and get the kick off will be pretty cool. As long as I don't get smashed, I'll be stoked."

Vaughan becomes the third player to partner David Klemmer in the run-on side following the series-ending injury to Reagan Campbell-Gillard.

His promotion is also likely to mean an increase in minutes, having spent a combined 57 minutes on the field over the opening two games of the series.

"It's a massive thing to do because you've got to set the platform for the team. You've got to be tight in all aspects of your game, attack and defence," Vaughan said.

Vaughan's move off the bench has paved the way for Dragons teammate Tariq Sims to make his debut in a game where the Blues aim to complete their first sweep since 2000.

"It comes down to hunger more than anything," he said.

"The boys want to try and be ruthless there and get the three-zip, because if the shoe was on the other foot, Queensland would do exactly the same thing."