PENRITH, NEW SOUTH WALES - APRIL 27: James Maloney of the Panthers prepares to catch the ball during the NRL round eight match between the Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs on April 27, 2018 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

NSW coach Brad Fittler has given an update on the selection prospects of James Maloney and Andrew Fifita with Origin I edging closer.

Maloney, one of the form players of the competition, has had his defence questioned by Fittler.

“I’ve seen the stats in the paper today and its about the missed tackles,” Fittler told Triple M.

“Queensland have caught him out before in defence and I think a couple of games this year he has been caught out as well.

Fifita is another intriguing prospect for the Fittler, who opted to play for Tonga ahead of the Blues.

"That’s a tricky one,” Fittler said of Fifita's chances.

“At the start of the year I was very adamant that if he wanted to play for Tonga during Game II, I understand his priorities, but it didn’t sit well with me.

“As I’m looking at our team and you start to get injuries you start to panic and think, we might need this and we might need that and I think I need another week.

“I still feel pretty strongly about the decision he made, but I’m going to give it another week.

“Something I’ve learned from this whole process is things change really quickly.

“From the team I assumed we were going to play with in February it is a vastly different footy team to now."


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