Luke Lewis no longer a lock as the Blues look to youth
ORIGIN warhorse Luke Lewis might feel a little hard done-by after Andrew Fifita and Josh Jackson were picked ahead of him in the Blues team for Origin I in Sydney next Wednesday.
Impressive and highly rated Bulldogs 24-year-old Jackson will debut in Lewis's lock position, with New South Wales coach Laurie Daley opting to bring in fresh young talent.
Daley has also gone for a big and youthful bench, naming Trent Merrin, 25, Boyd Cordner, 22, David Klemmer, 21, and Andrew Fifita, 25, in an all-forward rotation. Klemmer will make his Origin debut.
Lewis, 31, acknowledged he might have played his 17th and final Origin game.
Fellow 31-year-old Anthony Watmough, who has 14 Origin appearances to his credit but has struggled for form since switching from Manly to Parramatta, has also been left out.
Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce earned a recall at five-eighth, in place of the dumped Josh Reynolds, edging out club teammate and natural pivot James Maloney.
Bulldogs halfback Trent Hodkinson retained the No.7 jumper despite plenty of experts questioning his form in recent club games.
Josh Dugan, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Josh Morris, Will Hopoate, Mitchell Pearce, Trent Hodkinson, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, James Tamou, Beau Scott, Ryan Hoffman, Josh Jackson. Int: Trent Merrin, Boyd Cordner, David Klemmer, Andrew Fifita.