NSW Blues

Bulldogs sign Origin star Josh Addo-Carr on four-year-deal from 2022

The contract will see Addo-Carr at Canterbury through to the end of 2025 and is the latest signing in the Bulldogs' rebuilding effort.

The deal is worth more than $500,000 a season and makes Addo-Carr the highest-paid winger in the competition.

Bulldogs chief executive Andrew Hill said the signing of the 25-year-old was "another building block" in the new-look squad.

Can the NSW Blues make it three in a row?

In another series first, Adelaide will host a match for the first time, with the players flying in from Queensland and NSW on the day of the game.

The game is expected to be a sell-out, with a COVID-capped crowd of 26,500 in attendance.

Winners of the last two series, New South Wales are clear favourites to make it a hat-trick this year.

The Blues line-up features some of the biggest names in the game, with coach Brad Fittler jamming his team with a range of experienced, high-quality players.

Saifiti, Lomax added to Blues squad but star trio dropped

But there was no room for Saifiti's Knights teammates Mitchell Pearce, who was the Blues' halfback when Nathan Cleary was injured for game three last year when NSW won the trophy with a dramatic last-minute try, and David Klemmer, along with Sharks skipper Wade Graham.

Players not selected can still be brought into the squad at a later date but Sunday's announcement indicates Cleary is a shoo-in to regain the No.7 jersey.

Blues take Origin series on Tedesco winner

 Scores were locked at 20-all in the final minute on Wednesday when Blake Ferguson tiptoed the sideline, then found Tedesco for his second try of the night.

It came after Queensland forward Josh Papalii crossed in the 77th minute and debutant Ethan Lowe nailed a pressure conversion to level the game.

The dramatic finish ended a run of seven straight defeats in Origin deciders for the Blues, dating back to the start of the Maroons' dynasty in 2006.

It is also Mitchell Pearce's first series win over Queensland in eight attempts.

NSW Blues set to switch up forward pack for State of Origin decider

After first being overlooked for game three, NRL.com reports David Klemmer is set to start alongside Newcastle teammate Daniel Saifiti.

The change-up means St George Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan will go back to the bench like he did in Origin II.

Manly’s Jake Trbojevic will stay at lock despite being moved to prop in game two, while Melbourne workhorse Dale Finucane will come off the bench instead of starting like he did in Perth.

Blues crush Maroons in Perth to keep Origin series alive

But after a week of intense criticism and questioning, Brad Fittler's controversial selections, and non-selections, have been justified after NSW kept the series alive with an emphatic 38-6 win against Queensland in Perth on Sunday night.

The Maroons were totally outclassed and out-enthused by a NSW team that had spent an entire week working on working harder.

More effort, Fittler wanted. Effort he got.

James Maloney strolled into Blues camp exactly seven days ago, after repeatedly being snubbed in the weeks prior, asking the coach if he had lost his number.

Meninga questions inclusion of NSW rookie Saifiti to replace Klemmer

Saifiti is tipped to make his Blues debut in game two, after coming in to replace the injured David Klemmer, but Meninga doesn’t think it is a like for like replacement.

“An inexperienced prop coming in to what is a must-win game, taking the place of a very experienced player in David Klemmer - I find that a bit strange,” Meninga said.

“I just think you need another experienced prop to start the game.’’

The shock selection of the 23-year-old Knights front-rower to replace one of the Blues best in game one is a risk.

NSW Blues deny any players involved in new sex tape leak on eve of Game I

 

An explosive report in the Sydney Morning Heraldclaims the sex tape was leaked in an attempt to “sabotage” the Blues, and allegedly involves a NSW player.

Speaking as the Blues landed in Brisbane, coach Brad Fittler said: “We’ve been made aware of it and it’s not him.”

NSW assistant coach Greg Alexander told The Daily Telegraph: “For starters it’s not even one of our players.”

Asked if it was an attempt to undermine the Blues’ preparations, Alexander said: “The timing of it. Please. Of course it is.

Blues Origin team: Fittler to blood five debutants for game one

Brad Fittler announced his squad for game one on Sunday night with the Penrith halfback retaining his spot, partnered alongside South Sydney pivot Cody Walker.

The in-form Rabbitoh, who will be making his Origin debut, was preferred ahead of last year's series-winning five-eighth James Maloney after Roosters playmaker Luke Keary was ruled out following a heavy head knock in the loss to Newcastle on Friday night.

Apart from Walker, Brisbane's Payne Haas, South Sydney lock Cameron Murray, and Canberra duo Jack Wighton and Nick Cotric are the other uncapped Blues.

Fittler confirmed as new Blues coach

Fittler was announced as Laurie Daley’s successor in Sydney on Friday morning with a two-year deal, beating former South Sydney premiership-winning coach Michael Maguire to the position.

The Blues have lost 11 of the past 12 Origin series.