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Hodges happy with quitting Origin decision

IT'S OFFICIAL - Queensland centre Justin Hodges has announced his retirement from the State of Origin arena.

The 33-year-old will play his 23rd and last game for the Maroons in Wednesday night's decider at Suncorp Stadium.

The Broncos star made a nervous start in his Origin debut back in 2002, before going on to become an integral part of Queensland's eight-year reign.

The Maroons marked the announcement by having staff join the players for their 8am swim at Sanctuary Cove yesterday.

"It really hit home when we had all the staff in the water, but I've made a decision and I'm happy with it," Hodges said.

"It's time for me to step aside and let some other blokes come through and have a chance."

Meanwhile, the Maroons might be expecting him to play, but the chances of Blues hooker Robbie Farah lining up in game three are fading fast.

The Wests Tigers star only trained in a limited capacity with the team yesterday in his effort to make a stunning return from hand surgery.

Back-up Blues rake Michael Ennis filled in at

dummy half for Farah in the Blues' final major hit-out.

Farah went through a number of passing drills with Blues coach Laurie Daley and appeared unaffected by the injury at the start of the session.

But when the Tigers skipper was required to do a push-up as part of a team bonding session, he declined.

That was a clear sign the fractured fourth metacarpal on his right hand remained a problem.

Farah has already proved his toughness, playing in New South Wales's 26-18 win at the MCG in game two despite nursing an injured shoulder.

"Robbie is a tough customer and a really good healer," Blues centre Josh Morris said.

"I thought he would have been no chance to play in game two, but he turned up and played and we are giving him every chance to play on Wednesday night."

- APN SPORTS BUREAU



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