How Queensland are getting a 24-hour jump on NSW as the Blues are faced with the biggest decision of Brad Fittler’s coaching career ahead of must-win Origin in Brisbane
- Queensland will go into Origin camp on Monday, June 12
- Will be 24 hours before the NSW Blues can assemble
- Largely due to Bulldogs versus Eels round 15 NRL game
- Maroons lead the series 1-0, second game June 21
- A Queensland win will see Brad Fittler moved on
Queensland’s Origin squad are set to enjoy a 24-hour jump on NSW when it comes to preparations ahead of game two at Suncorp Stadium on June 21.
The Bulldogs and Eels will square off on Monday at Stadium Australia in round 15 NRL action – and both teams have a number of players in contention for Brad Fittler’s Blues squad.
Parramatta trio Mitchell Moses, Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard are said to be firmly in the selection mix, as are Canterbury players Tevita Pangai Junior, Josh Addo-Carr and Matt Burton.
In contrast, Eels backrower J’maine Hopgood is only an outside chance for a bench spot for Queensland.
With the clash falling on a public holiday, Fittler won’t be able to name his team until Tuesday morning, with his opposite Billy Slater tipped to release his squad 24 hours earlier, if not sooner.
Queensland’s Origin squad are set to enjoy a 24-hour jump on NSW when it comes to preparations ahead of game two on Suncorp Stadium on June 21 (pictured, coach Billy Slater)
With first choice halfback Nathan Cleary sidelined with a hamstring injury, Blues coach Brad Fittler (pictured) faces the biggest selection decision of his coaching career with the series on the line
A win on home soil for the Maroons will also see Fittler’s tenure in charge of the Blues come to an end (pictured from left, skipper James Tedesco and backrower Liam Martin)
The Maroons – who lead the series 1-0 – will then go into camp on Monday night.
The NRL draw was made available last November, with NRL head of elite competitions Graham Annesley admitting the scenario isn’t ideal.
‘The construction of the NRL season draw is a very complex process with many conflicting constraints,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘The June public holiday has been a traditional Bulldogs home game for many years, and is great content for fans on a day that would otherwise have no football.’
Annesley added: ‘the selection of Origin dates is based on finding the best times to break the season up around other major events, and to factor in byes to provide relief for clubs.
‘Our focus is finding the best possible outcomes considering all competing objectives.’
A win on home soil for the Maroons will also see Fittler’s tenure in charge of the Blues come to an end.
NSW last won an Origin series in 2021, where all three games were staged in the Sunshine State due to Covid outbreaks elsewhere across Australia.