NSW centre Mark Gasnier says a decision on whether he will play in next week's opening State Of Origin match will be made within the next 24-hours.
ERIC Grothe has been called into the NSW side to replace injured centre Matt Cooper for the opening State of Origin rugby league game at Telstra Stadium next Wednesday.St George Illawarra star Cooper has been ruled out after failing to recover from a fitness test at training yesterday. Grothe will start on the wing with his Parramatta team mate Timana Tahu shifting to the centres.Cooper's Dragons team mate Mark Gasnier will undertake a fitness assessment on his hip today after recovering from a virus that prevented him from training yesterday.
ERIC Grothe has been called into the NSW side to replace injured centre Matt Cooper for the opening State of Origin rugby league game at Telstra Stadium next Wednesday.
NEW South Wales centre Mark Gasnier has hit another hurdle in his race to be fit for next week's opening State of Origin clash against Queensland. Already battling to overcome a hip injury, the Dragons NRL star was unable to train with the Blues today because of a stomach bug.
QUEENSLAND will have it first official training run at it's luxurious base at the Hyatt Regency resort at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast today.The seven rookies in the 17-man squad will train on the resort's driving range which has been transformed into a football field especially to meet their needs. Coach MAL MENINGA admitted the surrounds were superb but says they won't help Queensland win next Wednesday's first State of Origin match against New South Wales at Telstra Stadium.Centre Brent Tate, who has only played two games this season because of a foot injury following off-season shoulder surgery, says he'll probably ease into training this week. After training the players will test their golfing skills on the resort's championship 18-hole golf course which has been the venue for the Australian PGA Championship in recent years.The team will remain in camp at Coolum until next Tuesday and fly to Sydney on the eve of the first game of the series.Meanwhile, NSW coach Graham Murray says Parramatta winger Eric Grothe will be the first choice replacement if either Matt Cooper or Mark Gasnier can't make next week's State of Origin match. One of the selected wingers Timana Tahu or Matt King would switch to centre.Gasnier has a hip injury while Cooper has a hamstring strain but both are aiming to train with the side later this week along with injured forward Luke O'Donnell. Grothe is on standby with Penrith back Luke Lewis.
NSW selectors named their team today for the first match of the 2006 Rugby League State of Origin series against Queensland at Telstra Stadium on May 24:Tigers fullback Brett Hodgson has played himself into the fullback?s role, with most of the rest of the backline as expected. The contentious five-eighth jumper has gone to Rooster?s pivot Braith Anasta, who will be joined in the halves with Craig Gower.Brent Kite has earned a recall, packing in with Willie Mason in the front row. The rest of the pack is made up with regulars, whilst Luke Lewis and Eric Grothe have been placed on standby for centres Matt Cooper and Mark Gasnier.The full squad is:Brett Hodgson, Matt King, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Timana Tahu, Braith Anasta, Craig Gower, Brent Kite, Danny Buderus (capt), Willie Mason, Nathan Hindmarsh, Steve Simpson, Luke O'Donnell.Interchange: Craig Wing, Steve Menzies, Mark O'Meley, Andrew RyanOn standby: Luke Lewis, Eric Grothe---The Queensland selectors have also named their finest 17 for the opening rugby league State of Origin match against NSW at Telstra Stadium on May 24.The side includes seven debutants.Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen has held the custodian?s role amid pressure from Karmichael Hunt. This sees Storm young gun Greg Inglis get his first cap on the wing with the rest of the back line picking itself.A young backrow of first-timers in David Stagg, Matthew Scott and Dallas Johnson each win spots with Sam Thaiday and Nate Myles also debuting.The full squad is:Matt Bowen, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Brent Tate, Steven Bell, Darren Lockyer (capt), Johnathan Thurston, Steven Price, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, David Stagg, Matthew Scott, Dallas JohnsonInterchange: Shaun Berrigan, Carl Webb, Sam Thaiday, Nate Myles.
NEW South Wales coach Graham Murray says St George Illawarra duo Mark Gasnier and Trent Barrett should be considered for State of Origin selection regardless of whether they leave the NRL next year.Barrett is considering a move to the English Super League while Gasnier is weighing up a lucrative offer to switch to rugby union. Speaking at the launch of the representative season today, Murray says the Dragons stars should not be black-banned by selectors this season.
FANS have rushed tickets for rugby league's second State of Origin game at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.Only 3,500 of the 52,500 tickets remain after 14,000 were snapped up in the first 90 minutes this morning. QRL officials held back 500 tickets for north Queensland fans whose lives were disrupted by Cyclone Larry today. The first game of the series will be played at Sydney's Telstra Stadium on May 24 with the return game in Brisbane on June 14. The third game is booked for Melbourne's Telstra Dome on July 5.
NSW winger Matt King says there is no way Ben Kennedy faked injury in last night's 32-10 State of Origin win over Queensland.
QUEENSLAND is still counting the injury toll from last night's State of Origin loss.