Grant, Watmough into NSW Origin side

Steve Jancetic, NZ Newswire June 3, 2012, 7:46 pm

Penrith prop Tim Grant is the surprise inclusion in a bulked-up NSW State of Origin side that will attempt to level the series in next week's game two at ANZ Stadium.

The inclusion of Grant in the starting line-up - with skipper Paul Gallen moving back to lock - was one of two changes made by Blues coach Ricky Stuart, with Manly's Anthony Watmough also recalled after being controversially overlooked for the series opener.

Injured Sea Eagle Tony Williams (back) was unavailable, while Manly utility Jamie Buhrer was dropped after making little impact in the 18-10 loss in Melbourne.

Buhrer could yet have a role to play however with Watmough under an injury cloud, the Sea Eagles back-rower to have an injection in his troublesome shoulder on Monday in a bid to ensure he's right for Wednesday week's match.

"He's got a couple of vertebrae that are inflamed ... this will be a chance to really speed up the recovery part of the neural problem that he's got," Stuart said.

"He'll miss some sessions early in the piece ... talking to Choc, he's got no dramas about being right for the game."

The inclusion of 24-year-old Grant - who has played just six games this year due to a calf problem - gives the Blues a monster starting pack with James Tamou alongside him in the front row, with Gallen's shift to lock allowing Stuart the luxury of giving his captain a breather at some stage of the match.

The Blues need to win game two if they are to avoid a seventh straight series loss.

Queensland will announce their side on Tuesday.

NSW side: Brett Stewart, Jarryd Hayne, Michael Jennings, Josh Morris, Akuila Uate, Todd Carney, Mitchell Pearce, Tim Grant, Robbie Farah, James Tamou, Glenn Stewart, Greg Bird, Paul Gallen (capt). Interchange: Trent Merrin, Luke Lewis, Ben Creagh, Anthony Watmough.

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  1. k111:59pm Sunday 03rd June 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Finally another prop on the bench but should have been Aaron Woods


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