NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Daniel Saifiti of the Knights looks on during the round 24 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Melbourne Storm at McDonald Jones Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

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.


  1. Pearce our now seems Maloney will be back, but siafiti is a very strange one, although prefer him then lodge easily.
    Surely dale Finucane can be picked as a prop, or maybe James tamou who is back in form and has the experience that nsw will be missing

  2. Surely Finucane and McLean or Tamou or Paulo are all in line over D Saifiti. Can’t wait until QLD win by 14 next game

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