Bradman Best named to replace Latrell Mitchell in NSW Blues State of Origin III team, Mitch Barnett to debut off bench

Bradman Best named to replace Latrell Mitchell in NSW Blues State of Origin III team, Mitch Barnett to debut off bench

By abc.net.au
Monday 08/07/2024
Newcastle star Bradman Best is back in the NSW Blues side after playing a starring role in last year's Game III win.(Getty Images: Brendon Thorne)

Bradman Best has been named as the replacement for injured Blues centre Latrell Mitchell in one of two changes made by NSW Blues coach Michael Maguire for next week's decider.

Warriors forward Mitchell Barnett is set to debut after being named on the bench, replacing Manly's Haumole Olakau'atu for the July 17 clash at Lang Park.

Best was the logical replacement for Mitchell. He excelled on debut in Game III last year and likely would have played this year's opener if not for an untimely hamstring injury.

Other candidates had marks against them too: Tom Trbojevic looked well off the pace in his return from a hamstring injury for Manly on Saturday night, Joseph-Aukuso Sua'ali'i has not played since being sent off and suspended for a high shot in Origin I, and Canterbury five-eighth Matt Burton is more of a playmaker than the powerful ball-runners Maguire seems to be looking for.

Barnett, meanwhile, has been in camp for the first two games and can play as a middle forward and on an edge.

NSW's extended 20-man squad will be finalised on Monday morning, when Queensland will also name its team for the decider.

Original story : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-07-07/nrl-live-bradman-best-state-of-origin-nsw-blues-team/104068746

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