The Blues are set to make a bold selection move for Origin II, with Newcastle duo Mitchell Pearce and Daniel Saifiti set to be named, according to a report by the Newcastle Herald.
It is understood that NSW coach Brad Fittler informed the pair following the Knights’ loss to Melbourne on Saturday.
It will mark Pearce’s first Blues appearance since 2017 and his 19th overall, while Saifiti comes in for his Origin debut.
The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the Newcastle duo have been assured positions, along with Cronulla’s Wade Graham just two games back from an ACL injury. Parramatta’s Blake Ferguson is also being considered.
Blues selector Greg Alexander told Fox League’s Super Saturday that there would be changes to the team.
“I’ve got a phone hook up later on and we’ll thrash out a few of those ‘maybes’,” he said.
“There won’t be wholesale changes, there’ll be a few changes and a couple are forced, no David Klemmer, no Nick Cotric.”
Alexander defended Graham’s selection, stating that his return to the field was enough to warrant selection.
“I love him as a footballer and I think most people do, even if you’re not a Sharks fan, you appreciate what Wade Graham does,” he said.
“I think that fact that he got out 60 minutes against the Raiders on Thursday night puts him in a position to get selected.”
NSW and Queensland will unveil their sides at 6pm tonight.