The Sydney Roosters have suffered a major setback with star halfback Mitchell Pearce ruled out for four weeks with a shoulder injury.
Pearce was hurt in the first half of Sunday’s 28-6 NRL loss to St George Illawarra, but played on unknowingly with a bone fracture.
The injury is also a blow to NSW’s State of Origin hopes, with Pearce a frontline contender for the No.7 jumper for the opening game of the series in Sydney on May 26.
Roosters coach Brian Smith is likely to move Todd Carney from fullback to halfback, with Carney now also emerging as a Blues possibility.
Bulldogs veteran Brett Kimmorley is the incumbent NSW halfback and will also come into strong reckoning.