The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Sharks will be looking to build on their victory over Manly last weekend with another strong performance this Saturday night against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Stuart Raper has resisted the temptation to name star centre Nigel Vagana in the line -up, however the Kiwi international isn't without a chance of playing his first game for the Sharks agaisnt Souths. Vagana was missing from training early in the week due to the birth of his first child on Sunday night.
Vagana received positive news in relation to his shoulder from his surgeon last week and is still rated a strong chance of taking to the field. Raper will give him until Friday to prove his fitness. Ryan McGoldrick and Paul Franze, solid against the Sea Eagles, have been retained in the centres.
The only change to the Sharks side which beat Manly is the inclusion of second rower Sam Isemonger in place of the injured Andrew Lomu who suffered a fractured cheekbone in the match last week. Lomu is expected to miss four to six weeks of football. Experienced back rower Matt Bickerstaff comes into the 17-man squad on the interchange bench.
Youngster David Simmons will again take his place on the wing with Nathan Merrit still a week or so away from being able to play for the Sharks. Matt Rieck has resumed full training after recovering frm a hamstring strain and is expected to play.
1 - David Peachey 2 - David Simmons 3 - Ryan McGoldrick 4 - Paul Franze 5 - Matt Rieck 6 - Greg Bird 7 - Brett Kimmorley 8 - Jason Stevens 9 - Dean Bosnich 10 - Danny Nutley 11 - Sam Isemonger 12 - Phil Bailey 13 - Matt Hilder interchange 14 - Chris Beattie 15 - Matt Bickerstaff 16 - Keith Galloway 17 - Michael Sullivan