QUEENSLAND captain Darren Lockyer says Blues halfback Craig Gower can expect to come in for a lot of attention in Wednesday night's Origin decider in Melbourne. With Gower the only recognised kicker in the NSW side, Queensland plan to pressure his clearances whenever possible. Lockyer says it's one area where Queensland can attack NSW.
NSW Origin coach Graham Murray remains confident utility Ben Hornby will be fit to take on Queensland despite Blues selectors adding his St George Illawarra team mate Dean Young to the squad as a precaution.
A fitness test tomorrow morning will determine the availability of NSW interchange utility Ben Hornby for Wednesday night's State of Origin decider.
NEW South Wales utility Ben Hornby will have scans this afternoon and is in some doubt for next week's series deciding State of Origin clash after injuring his groin at training.Hornby tweaked his groin while taking part in a ballwork session before being assessed by the Blues medical staff. Blues officials will wait until after they have the results of the scans before deciding whether or not a shadow player will be called into camp.Hornby says he is confident of overcoming the complaint in time for next Wednesday's match. The rest of the Blues side completed their first session in Melbourne without hiccup, new halves Craig Gower and Mark Gasnier having their first run together as they look to develop a combination ahead the Telstra Dome match.The Queensland State of Origin rugby league camp has been hit by a stomach virus with three players laid up in bed as a result.Prop Petero Civoniceva has yet to join the camp in Melbourne after being the first to contract the illness. He is due to fly in to Melbourne later this evening. Fellow forwards Nate Myles and Sam Thaiday are the latest victims of the stomach bug with both confined to their rooms.Neither will train with the rest of the Maroons squad this afternoon. With the series deciding match at Telstra Dome still a week away, Maroons coach Mal Meninga says none of the three players are in any doubt for the game.
WESTS Tigers coach Tim Sheens believes the unlikely State of Origin pairing of Mark Gasnier and Craig Gower could provide a long-term solution to the NSW halves crisis.Blues selectors have gambled on Test centre Gasnier at pivot, despite the fact he has played just four full games in the position for club side St George Illawarra.With few five-eighth options available following the representative retirement of the Dragons' Trent Barrett and the poor form of Sydney Roosters playmaker Braith Anasta, Sheens believes the current Blues pairing could become a regular one.
PENRITH fullback Rhys Wesser is delighted by his late call-up to the Queensland team and says he has no concerns about playing out of position in next week's State Of Origin decider in Melbourne.
STEVE Clark has been retained as referee for the State of Origin decider in Melbourne tomorrow week. Clark was the whistle-blower in Origin II in Brisbane earlier this month when Queensland thumped New South Wales 30-6 to keep the series alive.
TEST prop Petero Civoniceva won't travel with his Queensland State of Origin rugby league teammates to Melbourne today due to illness. Civoniceva will remain in Brisbane but is expected to join the rest of the Maroons squad tomorrow.
MARK Gasnier has thrown a scare into the NSW camp after the Blues five-eighth was rushed to hospital this afternoon for x-rays on a hand injury.
NSW selection chairman Bob McCarthy denies the Blues are taking a gamble by naming Mark Gasnier at five-eighth for Wednesday week's deciding third State-of-Origin rugby league match against Queensland.