Gower to miss Manly clash

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Brett Finch will be favoured to retain the NSW State of Origin halfback spot as Craig Gower has ruled himself out of Penrith's NRL clash with Manly on Sunday.

After a second training run this morning, Gower decided he had not recovered sufficiently from the knee surgery which ruled him out of the opening State of Origin win over Queensland in Sydney last week. However Panthers CEO Mick Leary has appealed to NSW selectors to give Gower more time to prove his fitness for the second Origin match in Brisbane on June 14.

The selectors are due to name their team on Monday. Finch became an Origin hero when he kicked the winning field goal less than 24 hours after being called into the Blues side as a fourth-choice option behind Gower, Andrew Johns and Matt Orford.

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