2010 State of Origin Game 3 NSW Team – Barrett Named as New Captain

June 29th, 2010

Cronulla veteran Trent Barrett has been named as the Blues replacement skipper for Origin III on Wednesday week as the demoted Kurt Gidley is again bumped onto the bench.

Barrett will play five-eighth and captain for a struggling New South Wales side in his rep footy swansong, keen to secure victory at ANZ Stadium and stop Queensland from making it a clean sweep for this year’s Origin series.

In anticipation of the third Origin showdown on July 7, NSW have named their squad with four players making their Origin debut in an attempt to add some life to a side that suffered their fifth straight series defeat with their 34 – 6 loss in Origin II to the Maroons in game two.

With Gidley on the bench, Jarryd Hayne retains the No. 1 jersey, while Brett Morris remains on the right wing. Other things staying as they are include Mitchell Pearce playing the instrumental role of halfback and Michael Ennis staying on as the Blues hooker.

Changes to the Blues squad include injured right centre Matt Cooper being replaced by the Panthers’ speedster Michael Jennings. Jennings has been electric over the last few weeks at club level and scored a hat-trick of tries for Penrith in their 40 – 22 win ahead of Manly last week, catching the attention of selectors and prompting them to choose him as Cooper’s replacement.

Another in-form Panther called up for Origin III to join Jennings is Michael Gordon. Gordon takes over on the left wing from the Raiders Joel Monaghan, who replaced Timana Tahu following his walk out days before the second game after racial comments from Andrew Johns. Gordon beat the Rabbitohs’ Nathan Merritt to the No. 5 sky Blue jersey, despite currently being off-contract for next season.

Gordon is one of the four players making their Origin debut, the others being Jason King, Kade Snowden and Tim Mannah, as selectors hope to create a fresh new future for New South Wales.

The Dragon’s Michael Weyman, who played in the first two Origin games, will miss the final instalment after he pleaded guilty to a dangerous tackle charge. A four-week ban prevents Weyman from donning the Blue jersey after he put a nasty spear tackle on Wests Tigers fullback Wade McKinnon during the Dragons 34 – 10 victory over the Tigers last Friday night.

The Sea Eagles’ Jason King is the new prop, with Manly also providing Anthony Watmough on the Blues bench after he missed the second match due to injury. Watmough replaces suspended Cowboys Luke O’Donnell, while the Eels Nathan Hindmarsh has also been dropped from the interchange selection in favour of teammate Tim Mannah.

Kade Snowden takes over from Brett White in the No. 10, Paul Gallen moves to the backrow in the No. 12 replacing Ben Creagh as the Titans’ Greg Bird earns his spot back in the Blues as the lock.

With the Panther’s Luke Lewis in the No. 11, the backrow trio of Gallen, Lewis and Bird will be one not to mess with. It will also be the first time ‘Bash Brothers’ Bird and Gallen have played together for the Blues since 2008.

In the face of the Blues eight major changes, Queensland have made just one alteration to their dominant squad, with the Bulldogs Ben Hannant dropped in favour of returning powerhouse Petero Civoniceva.

View the official QLD Maroons team for game three.

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2010 State of Origin Game 3 – NSW Aussie Blues Team:

1. Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels)

2. Brett Morris (St George Illawarra Dragons)

3. Michael Jennings (Penrith Panthers)

4. Beau Scott (St George Illawarra Dragons)

5. Michael Gordon (Penrith Panthers)

6. Trent Barrett – C – (Cronulla Sharks)

7. Mitchell Pearce (Sydney Roosters)

8. Jason King (Manly Sea Eagles)

9. Michael Ennis (Canterbury Bulldogs)

10. Kade Snowden (Cronulla Sharks)

11. Luke Lewis (Penrith Panthers)

12. Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sharks)

13. Greg Bird (Gold Coast Titans)

Interchange:

14. Kurt Gidley (Newcastle Knights)

15. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Canberra Raiders)

16. Tim Mannah (Parramatta Eels)

17. Anthony Watmough (Manly Sea Eagles)