Sunday 20 August 2017 / 02:55 AM

Blues make two changes for Origin II

Despite an 11-10 loss at home in the series opener, New South Wales has made just two changes to its squad for the must-win Game 2 clash at the MCG.

Stalwarts Paul Gallen and Brett Morris – unavailable for the first encounter due to injury – have come into the Blues’ starting line-up after making successful comebacks for their club sides in Round 13.

Gallen resumes the captaincy and has been named at lock, which sees Josh Jackson move back to the bench and Andrew Fifita drop out of the 17. Morris has replaced Daniel Tupou, who had an ordinary night in Game 1, on the wing.

Hooker Robbie Farah has declared himself a certain starter after it was initially feared a shoulder injured suffered in the series opener would keep him out of the second game.

Coach Laurie Daley has resisted pressure to change up his halves pairing, with Trent Hodkinson retained despite being replaced 22 minutes from the end of Canterbury’s Monday afternoon fixture, and the much-maligned Mitchell Pearce given another opportunity.

NSW TEAM FOR ORIGIN II

1. Josh Dugan

2. Brett Morris

3. Michael Jennings

4. Josh Morris

5. Will Hopoate

6. Mitchell Pearce

7. Trent Hodkinson

8. Aaron Woods

9. Robbie Farah

10. James Tamou

11. Beau Scott

12. Ryan Hoffman

13. Paul Gallen (c)

Interchange:

14. Trent Merrin

15. Boyd Cordner

16. David Klemmer

17. Josh Jackson

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