Teammates to fight it out for one Blues jersey
BRAD WALTER June 02, 2012
Power packed … Tigers props Keith Galloway, left, and Aaron Woods, will battle for a seat on the NSW interchange bench.
WESTS TIGERS props Aaron Woods and Keith Galloway will be vying for a place on the NSW interchange bench when they play the Raiders at Canberra Stadium tonight.
Besides replacing injured strike forward Tony Williams, Blues coach Ricky Stuart is expected to alter his bench by doing away with utility Jamie Buhrer after the Manly rookie played just seven minutes of Origin I.
With Williams ruled out out for up to eight weeks by a back injury, Stuart is set to add a prop to his bench rather than replace the Sea Eagles star with another back-rower. Stuart is understood to have ruled out choosing two extra interchange props if he drops Buhrer - meaning there would only be room for either Woods or Galloway.
Penrith prop Tim Grant is also believed to be under consideration but the fact the Panthers have a bye may count against him as he has not played much football this season.
Stuart is expected to stick closely to the team that was beaten 18-10 in Origin I when he and NSWRL chairman John Chalk announce the side at 5pm tomorrow, with Buhrer his main selection headache.
Tigers captain Robbie Farah proved in Origin I he could play 80 minutes at hooker and if he needs to be rested Stuart would have either Glenn Stewart or one of his halves Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney to deputise at dummy half. The only worry would be an injury to Farah early on but Queensland coach Mal Meninga did not have a back-up for Cameron Smith in Origin I.
Dragons prop Trent Merrin and second-rower Ben Creagh are expected to retain their places on the interchange bench, with the latter again playing a front-rower’s role.
The presence of another front-rower on the bench would allow starting props Paul Gallen and James Tamou to play wider later in the match - an option not available to Stuart in Origin I.
After being 18th man in Melbourne, Woods is viewed as the favourite to win his Origin debut but size and experience may give Galloway the nod. The Tigers prop played in the deciding match of last year’s series and was a member of the Australian team that won the end-of-season Four Nations tournament in England. Grant and Canberra’s Tom Learoyd-Lahrs are other possibilities.
Manly second-rower Anthony Watmough, Warriors back-rower Feleti Mateo and Melbourne’s Ryan Hoffman have been mentioned as possible replacements for Buhrer. However, despite playing for the Kangaroos in last year’s Four Nations and the April 20 Test against New Zealand, Watmough again appears to be out of favour for representative selection.
Stuart won’t settle on a side until learning how the seven players involved in matches last night - Brett and Glenn Stewart, Buhrer, Creagh, Merrin, Tamou and Greg Bird - fared with injury. The Maroons team will be announced on Monday but is expected to be the same unless there are injuries at the weekend.
Likely NSW team: Brett Stewart, Jarryd Hayne, Michael Jennings, Josh Morris, Akuila Uate, Todd Carney, Mitchell Pearce, Paul Gallen , Robbie Farah, James Tamou, Glenn Stewart, Luke Lewis, Greg Bird. Res: Anthony Watmough, Ben Creagh, Trent Merrin, Keith Galloway.
Why not both, dump Creagh! The water boy makes more meteres then that waste of space…
Posted using RoarFEED 2012