Origin news

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.

The Blues' other two injury concerns, Matt Cooper and Luke O'Donnell, however, did train with the team during its first session under new coach Graham Murray at Coogee Oval today.

Meanwhile, former crash tackling forward Trevor Gillmeister believes Queensland's Origin rookies can pull off victory in the opening game of the series in Sydney next week. A feared defender, Gillmeister took the Queensland players through some heavy tackling practice at their Sunshine Coast camp at the Hyatt Regency Resort at Coolum today.

He says he's impressed with the sting of some of the young players, especially big-hitting Storm forward Dallas Johnson. The Queenslanders enjoyed a leisurely game of golf after training today and head to Maryborough tomorrow to train and make a public appearance for country Rugby League fans.

And Sean Hampstead has been appointed to referee the first match of the State of Origin rugby league series between NSW and Queensland at Telstra Stadium on Wednesday week. It will be Hampstead's third Origin match, having controlled two matches in the 2004 series. Steve Clark is the standby referee.