Queensland forward Carl Webb has been ruled out of tomorrow night's State of Origin series opener at Suncorp Stadium, replaced by Melbourne's Antonio Kaufusi.
Webb suffered a hamstring strain at training on Sunday and will not take his place in the Maroons side tomorrow night after failing a brief fitness test this morning. Storm prop Kaufusi joined the Queensland squad as 18th man yesterday and will now make his Origin debut.
Kaufusi is likely to come off the bench with Canberra rookie Neville Costigan expected to be promoted from the interchange into the starting backrow.
Meanwhile, NSW are about to hold their final training session before tomorrow night's State of Origin series opener in Brisbane. The Blues are due on Suncorp Stadium at 10am with captain Danny Buderus scheduled to give a final press conference later this morning.
The Blues have been happy with the way young halfback Jarrod Mullen and their four other Origin debutants have settled in and are confident they'll acquit themselves well. New South Wales are underdogs heading into the clash and coach Graham Murray says his players are relishing that situation.
Murray added that Newcastle rookie Kurt Gidley could be the Blues' game breaker. Gidley is likely to come off the interchange bench midway through the first half either replacing hooker Danny Buderus or slotting somewhere into the Blues backline. Skipper Buderus says the Blues are likely to play a very direct brand of football up the middle and take it to the Queensland pack.Like