Parramatta’s Mitchell Moses will make his State of Origin debut for New South Wales after being named to start in the halves alongside Canberra’s Jack Wighton in the final match of the series.
- Moses and Wighton replace the injured Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai in the Blues’ stating line-up
- Moses won the race to replace Cleary ahead of Adam Reynolds
- The Blues are chasing their first Origin series whitewash in 21 years
Moses and Wighton replace Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai respectively, after the Penrith pair were ruled out because of injury.
Panthers hooker Api Koroisau has been named to debut on the interchange bench, while Melbourne Storm back Nicho Hynes has been included in an extended squad.
Jake Trbojevic has not been named as he battles to come back from injury.
Queensland is expected to confirm its squad on Monday.
The third match, scheduled for July 14, will be a dead rubber after the Blues wrapped up the series last Sunday night.
Origin III was to be played at Sydney’s Stadium Australia but the city’s COVID-19 outbreak has meant the NRL is looking for an alternative venue.
Wighton’s selection at five-eighth comes as a reward from Blues coach Brad Fittler for the reigning Dally M medallist, after he had limited match time off the bench in the opening two wins.
But the knee injury sustained by Luai has opened up the door for him to return to the starting side, after playing in the centres last year.
Moses and Wighton were selected ahead of the tried-and-tested partnership of Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker, who both again starred for South Sydney against Wests Tigers on Sunday.
Walker played all three matches for the Blues last year, while Reynolds is one of the best game managers in the NRL and played the last of his two Origins in 2016.
Fittler has a close bond with Moses, with the pair having worked well together in the 2017 World Cup for Lebanon.
Afterwards, Fittler described him as “designed for State of Origin”.
Moses has also matured significantly, becoming a much more patient player while still setting up 21 tries in 16 matches this year for the Eels.
Blues squad: James Tedesco (c), Brian To’o, Latrell Mitchell, Tom Trbojevic, Josh Addo-Carr, Jack Wighton, Mitch Moses, Daniel Saifiti, Damien Cook, Junio Paulo, Cameron Murray, Tariq Sims, Isaah Yeo
Interchange bench: Api Koroisau, Angus Crichton, Payne Haas, Liam Martin