NSW has the injury Blues ahead of Origin decider
NSW have named an unchanged side but will still be sweating bullets in the lead-up to next Wednesday's Origin decider as a quartet of their stars battle injury concerns.
Skipper Boyd Cordner (calf), fullback James Tedesco (ankle) and Dragons pair Tyson Frizell (ribs/back), Josh Dugan (cork) were all on the team sheet when Laurie Daley announced an extended squad on Monday morning.
Not since 1996 has a side gone an entire series without a line-up change, though scans on a second rib cartilage injury for Frizell are considered most likely to scupper the Blues plans.
Frizell has already played through Origin II with a painkilling injection for a similar injury, and he was in contact with Daley declaring himself fit for game three soon after coming from the field in St. George Illawarra's loss to the Titans on Friday.
Daley said he owed it to the 17 players picked to have until the last minute to prove their fitness.
"There's some concern there but we thought we'd give the guys the opportunity to prove their fitness,” Daley said at Monday's announcement.
"Obviously we weren't good enough two weeks ago. It's a big game for us coming up. I know the guys are all determined and we'll put in a strong performance.”
With Cordner's recovery from the calf injury he picked up in game two also causing headaches, St. George Illawarra's Jack de Belin has been named as cover in the back-row, though he himself is battling a calf complaint.
Panthers skipper Matt Moylan, Manly's Tom Trbojevic and Storm prop Jordan McLean are the next cabs off the rank having been involved with preparations for games one and two.
Concern for Dugan and Tedesco is believed to be minimal, with Tedesco missing the Wests Tigers win over Newcastle as a precaution after copping an ankle knock in Origin II.
All four players as well as de Belin will be assessed by the NSW medical staff before heading to their Kingscliff camp on Monday.
NSW side: James Tedesco, Blake Ferguson, Josh Dugan, Jarryd Hayne, Brett Morris, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Aaron Woods, Nathan Peats, Andrew Fifita, Josh Jackson, Boyd Cordner (capt), Tyson Frizell. Interchange: David Klemmer, Wade Graham, Jake Trbojevic, Jack Bird. 18th man: Jack De Belin