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Phil Gould says Josh Addo-Carr should not be selected for Origin II DESPITE heroics against the Eels

Phil Gould says Josh Addo-Carr should not be selected for Origin II despite his three-try heroics against Parramatta, saying it would leave the Blues in ‘a terrible mess’

  • Gould is a former NSW State of Origin coach and current Bulldogs boss 
  • Addo-Carr starred for the Bulldogs against the Eels after being dropped by NSW
  • He put in an eye-catching performance that could be rewarded with re-selection
  • However Gould has warned against wholesale changes to the Blues side 

Bulldogs star Josh Addo-Carr was a shock omission for the opening State of Origin clash in Sydney, but his three-try heroics against Parramatta should not be his ticket back into the Blues side, Phil Gould has warned.

Addo-Carr was controversially omitted from the Blues side that lost 16-10 at Accor Stadium on June 8 with coach Brad Fittler opting for Roosters winger Daniel Tupou instead. 

Gould, the former New South Wales coach and current Bulldogs boss, was elated with Addo-Carr returning to his destructive best against the Eels in their Queen’s Birthday NRL clash on Monday.

Phil Gould (top) has warned against the NSW Blues making wholesale changes after Bulldogs star Josh Addo-Carr (bottom) tore shreds off Parramatta to challenge for rep selection again

Phil Gould (top) has warned against the NSW Blues making wholesale changes after Bulldogs star Josh Addo-Carr (bottom) tore shreds off Parramatta to challenge for rep selection again

But Gould told Nine’s 100% Footy that the Blues need to resist wholesale changes ahead of the second and potentially deciding clash at Perth’s Optus Stadium on June 26. 

‘No.1 rule: don’t pick your team until the medical next week. If you go trying to make positional changes – ‘We’ll bring him in, bring him out’ – and then suddenly you get to next Sunday night and three others are ruled (out), suddenly you’ve got six changes to the team and you’re going to leave yourself in a terrible mess,’ Gould said.

‘What we need to do is get to the medical next Sunday afternoon and see who’s available.

‘No.2: we weren’t belted. We were only just beaten.

‘We just need a couple of little changes to our mentality and the style of football that we were playing.’

NSW assistant Greg Alexander kept his cards close to his chest when asked about the chances of Addo-Carr returning for Origin II.

‘Addo-Carr was very good and he was very good last week too,’ Alexander said on NRL 360.

‘That’s the sort of reaction you want to see. He’s certainly put his hand back up.’

NSW Blues assistant coach Greg Alexander said that Addo-Carr was doing everything right for a recall to the representative arena

NSW Blues assistant coach Greg Alexander said that Addo-Carr was doing everything right for a recall to the representative arena

As for the man himself, Addo-Carr said he was just focused on getting wins for the Bulldogs and letting representative selection take care of itself. 

‘I don’t know brah, I’m just focused on what I’ve got to do for the Bulldogs,’ he said when asked about getting picked for Origin II following the Bulldogs win against the Eels.

‘The club comes first, my teammates come first, if Freddy and the coaching staff decide to pick me, so be it.

‘I love putting that Blues jersey on [but] my sole focus right now is playing for the Bulldogs.’

Addo-Carr reacts after NSW won Game 2 of the 2021 State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium

Addo-Carr reacts after NSW won Game 2 of the 2021 State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium

Gould said that the Blues needed to focus on developing their own structures and identity and said the current side was too ‘Pantherised’. 

‘That’s not to say all those Panthers players didn’t deserve to be in the team. They do – they’re the best around,’ he said.

‘But … taking that club combination into Origin can sometimes be dangerous. I’ve had Origin teams where we had a lot of Canberra Raiders players or a lot of Newcastle Knights players or a lot of Parramatta players.

‘You can’t just bring your club mentality and your club football into Origin and expect that the opposition won’t be ready for it.

‘It was when we freed up a little bit at the back end of the game and played a little bit more ad-lib that things started to open for [the Blues].’

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