SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 30: Payne Haas arrives at a New South Wales Blues State of Origin squad Media Opportunity at Crowne Plaza Coogee on May 30, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Game 2 of the Origin series saw a completely different contest to the series opener. This came on the back of a raft of changes by Blues coach Brad Fittler.

Given the blow out in the Origin Two scoreline, you'd have to believe Fittler would love to name the same squad for the decider.

Outside of the temptation to pick Latrell Mitchell, if fit, the ideal situation would be to name the same starting 17, with perhaps Jack Wighton coming in at 18th man just in case.

Unfortunately for Fittler, as I write this, that might not be completely left to him.

Payne Haas is reportedly in real doubt of missing Game 3 due to injury. He was seen in a moon boot following the game and it's 50/50 as to whether he'll even be named for the Broncos this weekend.

Payne Haas is impossible to replace but the Blues may not have a choice. If the injury is as bad as NSW fans hope it is not, Fittler will have to name a replacement.

Given that the Blues named only the one prop on the bench for Game 2, I'm going to assume they need to replace a similar big man to Haas. This means the likes of Tariq Sims, Haumole Olakau'atu and the like will miss out. Therefore they're not mentioned below.

Below are the five men I believe will be in the running for an Origin 3 call up if the unthinkable is true and Haas is unavailable:

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1. Reagan Campbell-Gillard

'RCG' was extremely hard done by in being dropped for Game 2. He was arguably in the top two forwards for the Blues in the series opener in his 36-minute stint.

Campbell-Gillard is in supreme form for the Eels and deserved his Origin One selection on merit. As I mentioned earlier, I don't believe he should have made way for the second game.

His return to the side makes the world of sense. Given Paulo's impact off the bench I'd expect RCG to return to the run on squad and do the hard yards early as he does for his club side.

Averaging over 151 metres per game and tackling at over 93% efficiency, the stats back up a swift and deserved recall to the Origin side.

RCG's re-inclusion shapes as the most obvious one and sometimes the best option is the one that is right in front of you all along.

It would be a huge shame if Haas were to miss the game but RCG's inclusion would certainly help fill the void.

NRL Rd 1 - Eels v Bulldogs
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: Reagan Campbell-Gillard of the Eels is tackled during the round 1 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Bankwest Stadium on March 12, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
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1 COMMENT

  1. Klemmer has experience, ability and effort, but he suffers from playing with a team that is going nowhere. If he played for a top four team he would be much more likely to be selected. I’d be happy with either him or RCG.

    Personally, I would pick them both and not pick Cook. Two hookers is a luxury when you remember how the NSW pack struggled against Qld in SOO#1. If the Qld pack had been on song for #2, then Cleary would have had less freedom and the result could have been a LOT closer.

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