The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Either Menzies or South Sydney captain Bryan Fletcher had been mooted as the likely 18th man, with selectors known to be keen on taking an extra back rower to Brisbane as insurance for the injured Ben Kennedy.
But as Kennedy shows signs of recovering for the series opener at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night, Gould says he wants a more versatile player than an out-and-out back-rower to make the trip north. He also wants the 18th man to come from within either of the two NSW squads that had already assembled this season.
If Gould gets his way, that leaves only Menzies and Anasta as candidates.
Anasta, who was dropped from the NSW squad after game two of last year's series was all but promised the five-eighth role this year when Trent Barrett was injured, must produce the goods for the Bulldogs against the Sydney Roosters at Aussie Stadium tomorrow night.