NSW State of Origin centre Michael Jennings passes during a training session this week at Novotel Pacific Bay Resort.
NSW State of Origin centre Michael Jennings passes during a training session this week at Novotel Pacific Bay Resort. Trevor Veale

Stakes are still high for the Blues

IN ORIGIN there’s no such thing as a dead rubber.

Despite having already lost this year’s series, NSW centre Michael Jennings says there’s still plenty to play for when Game 3 against Queensland kicks off on Wednesday night.

“We don’t want it to be a whitewash,” Jennings said.

“We don’t want to be three in a row, so we want to win next week and for us it’s all about pride now.”

With the Blues keen to ensure the team puts its best foot forward after another training camp held at Coffs Harbour’s Novotel Pacific Bay Resort this week, Jennings says he hopes he runs out on Wednesday in front of a packed ANZ Stadium.

Particularly considering it will be the 24th and last time Blues skipper Paul Gallen plays for his state.

“He’s done a lot for this state and for this team. All these boys look up to him and they follow him,” the quick-footed centre said of Gallen.

“He’s been a good leader for his state for a couple of years and it will be good for everyone to get out and support what he’s done for this state and just as a person because he’s a great person as well.

“It will be good to get everyone out there and cheering him on in his last game.”

While one player is farewelling the Origin stage, two will be making their debut for the Blues. Second-rower Wade Graham gets a second chance to play his first game while fullback James Tedesco has been selected after producing a long period of good form with Wests Tigers.

Jennings said Tedesco’s selection was no surprise to him.

“I think Tedesco has done the job and he’s earned his spot and I think he’s one of the hardest fullbacks to tackle, so strong and so quick and nippy,” he said.

“Every time I play him he’s one of those players that you just find it really hard to tackle.”



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