The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Queensland State of Origin winger Greg Inglis has been isolated from teammates after coming down with a virus. Inglis was excused from the team's training run in Brisbane this morning suffering from a fever.
But the team doctor Roy Saunders says it's most likely it's only a 24-hour virus and the electrifying winger should be back in action by the weekend. Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer trained lightly at Langlands Park this morning in a promising sign for the Maroons.
But Lockyer is still battling a badly bruised back and looked very tentative six days out from the return match against NSW in Sydney next Wednesday.
Setting the scene for a brutal and fiery clash at Telstra Stadium next week, Mason says the Blues have to fight fire with fire and has backed calls for more aggression. Mason says he is "going to try" to whack the Queenslanders during the game and has laughed off a photo of Maroons' enforcer Carl Webb posing in a boxing stance on the back page of the Courier Mail.
Mason says the Blues need more mongrel and have to step up to Maroons enforcers Steve Price and Petero Civoniceva if they are to square the series at one all.
In response, Queensland forwards Carl Webb and Neville Costigan have taunted the Blues over selector Bob McCarthy's "whack them back" edict. McCarthy has set the scene for a torrid Origin two at Telstra Stadium next Wednesday by calling for more "mongrel" and saying someone should have paid after Queensland forward Tonie Carroll broke rookie NSW prop Brett White's nose early in Origin one.
But Webb says the Blues have to put their money where their mouths are. Costigan says he loves playing rough and dirty and will expect anything in game two.
The 18-year-old, who is in scorching form with six tries in his past five games, has played a key role for the Tigers off the interchange bench this season. But coach Tim Sheens is ready to give Lawrence a chance in the halves after relegating Liam Fulton to the bench following Monday's 38-8 loss to Parramatta.
Sheens says Lawrence will give the Tigers more speed in the middle of the park and is hoping the youngster will become another option in the halves in the future.