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Not only does Racing And Sports have all your horse racing action covered, we have expanded the content we provide to include a massive amount of Sports information.

Both in terms of Audio and Video matter and news articles, Racing And Sports has every sport covered from the main landscape.

These include AFL, Rugby League, Cricket, Tennis, Golf, Rugby Union, Football, Cycling, Swimming and various other pursuits which focus the sporting eyes of the nation.

There will be more features coming as well.

Sports - Rugby League

ANZ Stadium sold out for Origin II

Sydney's ANZ Stadium has been sold out for the State of Origin II game on Sunday night.

State of Origin II filing plan

State of Origin II filing

Bulldogs' Faitala-Mariner hurt in NZ loss

The Bulldogs' NRL season may have just gotten worse, with prop forward Raymond Faitala-Mariner potentially breaking his hand.

Napa cleared to play for Qld in Origin II

DYLAN NAPA of the Roosters is sin binned during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland prop Dylan Napa has overcome an ankle injury and been cleared to play their must-win State of Origin game two in Sydney.

Winner Bennett's US challenge to NRL

Coach WAYNE BENNETT talks to his players during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Almost 20,000 people have watched England beat New Zealand in a rugby league Test in the American city of Denver.

Cleary ready to join rare air: Mortimer

NATHAN CLEARY of the Panthers makes a run during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Nathan Cleary can become just the eighth NSW halfback to win a State of Origin series on Sunday, and Steve Mortimer believes he will be better for his debut.

Fifita wants Tonga's shot at Kangaroos

ANDREW FIFITA of the Blues is tackled during the State Of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Andrew Fifita says a Test match against Australia would be a guarenteed crowd-pulled for international rugby league.

Addo-Carr returns to GF origins at ANZ

JOSH ADDO-CARR of the Melbourne Storm runs with the ball during the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

NSW winger Josh Addo-Carr returns to the scene where he lit up last year's NRL grand final with a scintillating 75-metre try for Melbourne.

Naiqama pins his Fiji hopes on Pacific Cup

KEVIN NAIQAMA of the Tigers is tackled by Brodie Croft of the Storm during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Melbourne Storm at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Kevin Naiqama fears he may not play for Fiji again ahead of his move to the English Super League, but hopes a Pacific Cup may save him.

Maroons turn Origin heat on halves

Coach KEVIN WALTERS gives directions during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters has turned the heat up on his maligned halves ahead of Sunday's must-win State of Origin game two in Sydney.

Tonga ready for Kangaroos Test after win

Tonga have beaten Samoa 38-22 in a thrilling rugby league Test in Sydney and in doing so, boosted their chances of an historic first clash with Australia.

PNG dedicate Fiji league upset to Ottio

Papua New Guinea have run in four first-half tries to shock Fiji 26-14 Pacific rugby league Test in Sydney, honouring their late teammate Kai Ottio.

Coaches not ducking Origin II pressure

BRAD FITTLER poses during a press conference at the Star announcing his new role as coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team in Sydney, Australia.

NSW coach Brad Fittler is 80 minutes away from claiming a State of Origin series victory in just his first season as the Blues' mentor.

Ponga can be Qld Maroons great: Walters

KALYN PONGA of the Knights in action during the NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters says 20-year-old rookie Kalyn Ponga can emulate Billy Slater and become one of the Maroons' State of Origin greats.

Blues' Tedesco relishes Slater match-up

JAMES TEDESCO of the Blues is tackled by Felipe Kaufusi of the Maroons during the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at the MCG in Melbourne, Australia.

NSW star James Tedesco will line up against Queensland counterpart Billy Slater for just the sixth time of their rugby league careers.

Graham backs Denver Test to continue

JAMES GRAHAM of the Dragons in action during the NRL trial match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium in Mudgee, Australia.

Englishman James Graham says the Denver Test against New Zealand is like the beginning of State of Origin.

Luke heading for the international exit

ISSAC LUKE of the Warriors runs the ball during the NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors at Optus Stadium in Perth, Australia.

Issac Luke has reunited with old South Sydney coach Michael Maguire, but he says this is likely to be his last Test.

Fittler gains inside goss on Origin venue

Nathan Peats speaks to City coach BRAD FITTLER during a City NSW Origin training session at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, Australia.

NSW coach Brad Fittler has gone to great lengths to learn about State of Origin II venue ANZ Stadium, including visiting a grass farm in Windsor.

Qld confident Napa will play Origin II

DYLAN NAPA of the Roosters is sin binned during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters is confident Dylan Napa will recover from an ankle injury and play Sunday's State of Origin game in Sydney.

Origin II's key match-ups

Five key battles that will help decide Sunday's State of Origin clash at ANZ Stadium.

Women's Origin hailed as great leap

The inaugural Women's State of Origin has been hailed as the first step in a long journey for female rugby league.

Inglis hoses down Walters' cranky talk

GREG INGLIS catches a pass during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Queensland captain Greg Inglis has hosed down speculation coach Kevin Walters is cracking ahead of State of Origin game two in Sydney.

Studdon loses job over Origin spot

NSW skipper Maddie Studdon has revealed she lost her job because she was taking too much time off for work and training commitments.

Qld forwards take Origin loss personally

GREG INGLIS of the Rabbitohs watches the ball before scoring a try during the NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium in Australia.

Queensland captain Greg Inglis says his maligned forwards have held a secret meeting to respond in State of Origin game two and are taking it personally.

Wheelchair Origin to roll with big game

Organisers hope Sunday's Wheelchair Rugby League interstate challenge exhibition is the start of something far bigger for the sport.

Skinny teen Tedesco was made for Origin

JAMES TEDESCO of the Roosters runs the ball during the NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Gold Coast Titans at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Australia.

Jack De Belin caught an early glimpse of his future NSW teammate James Tedesco while boarding at famed rugby league production school St Gregory's.

Roby up for whatever NZ dish up in Denver

Decorated England hooker James Roby says he hasn't been tracking the injury woes of the New Zealand side, preferring to just "turn up and play the game".

Sacked Studdon leads NSW to Origin win

NSW have won the inaugural Women's State of Origin with a 16-10 victory over Queensland at North Sydney Oval.

Inglis urges Qld halves to take ownership

CAMERON MUNSTER of the Storm runs with the ball during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland captain Greg Inglis has urged halves Ben Hunt and Cameron Munster to take ownership of the Maroons in Sunday's State of Origin game two.

Maguire gives Luke first bite at captaincy

ISSAC LUKE of the Warriors runs the ball during the NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors at Optus Stadium in Perth, Australia.

NZ rugby league coach Michael Maguire has given Warriors hooker Issac Luke the opportunity of leading the national team against England on Sunday.

I'm Tonga for life: Fifita

ANDREW FIFITA warms up during the Tonga Rugby League World Cup Semi Final Captain's Run at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Andrew Fifita has pledged his allegiance to the Tongan rugby league team for life, declaring he'll never play for Australia again.

Reluctant Maloney embraces NSW leadership

JAMES MALONEY of the Panthers lines up for a conversion during the NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

For the first time in his State of Origin career, NSW five-eighth James Maloney is embracing a leadership role.

Blues want quick tempo for Origin II

DAMIEN COOK of the Rabbitohs in action during the NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canberra Raiders at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Australia.

The threat of a high penalty count seems less distinct but NSW are desperate to keep a quick ruck speed for State of Origin II at ANZ Stadium.

De Belin to have another jab for Origin II

JACK DE BELIN poses during the New South Wales Blues State of Origin media opportunity at Salt Beach in Kingscliff, Australia.

NSW hard man Jack de Belin has confirmed he'll have another painkilling injection ahead of Sunday's Origin II showdown at ANZ Stadium.

Queensland's great State of Origin escapes

NSW are in the prime position to claim just their second State of Origin series in 12 years, but Queensland have come back from far worse situations before.

We can win next League World Cup: Fiji

Fiji's coach Matt Adamson says there's no reason why his team can't overcome a vulnerable and changing Australia to win the next Rugby League World Cup.

SOO II biggest of my Origin career: Inglis

GREG INGLIS catches a pass during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Queensland captain Greg Inglis believes Sunday's must-win State of Origin game two in Sydney is the biggest of his interstate career.

England's Percival hails Barba's influence

BEN BARBA of the Sharks runs the ball during the NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Cronulla Sharks at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Former NRL star Ben Barba has played a big part in England centre Mark Percival's development as a Test player, according to the representative centre.

Blues attack line speed in Origin bid

BRAD FITTLER poses during a press conference at the Star announcing his new role as coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team in Sydney, Australia.

NSW have moved to improve their line speed after it was one area of their game coach Brad Fittler was concerned about in State of Origin I.

Wiser Studdon to skipper NSW her way

RUAN SIMS of Australia runs at the defence during the 2017 Rugby League Women's World Cup Final between Australia and New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

When Maddie Studdon was named NSW Women's State of Origin captain the first thing she did was ring injured veteran Ruan Sims.

Tallis fires up at Maroons forwards

Former Queensland captain Gorden Tallis has demanded a defining performance from the Maroons' under-pressure forwards in Sunday's must-win clash.

Kaufusi hails 'madman' Napa

FELISE KAUFUSI of the Storm runs the ball during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Melbourne Storm at Optus Stadium in Perth, Australia.

Felise Kaufusi says the presence of "madman" Dylan Napa will provide Queensland with the aggression they require in the middle against NSW on Sunday.

Waerea-Hargreaves form delights Maguire

VALENTINE HOLMES of the Sharks is tackled by JARED WAEREA-HARGREAVES of the Roosters during the NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Cronulla Sharks at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Australia.

The Kiwis are crossing their fingers Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will carry his NRL form into the Test arena against England in Denver.

O'Mealey after dream women's Origin hurrah

Friday night's inaugural women's State of Origin will gain unprecedented exposure as a stand-alone fixture in the NRL representative weekend.

Marshall initiated Farah's Tigers return

BENJI MARSHALL of the Broncos runs the ball during the 2017 Auckland Nines match at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.

A text message from Benji Marshall planted the seed for Robbie Farah's return to the Wests Tigers for the end of the NRL season.

NSW won't buy into clear favouritism

NSW are the shortest-price favourites they've been for State of Origin in 20 years of records but they've learned before not to buy into the hype.

Storm always sure of Bellamy: Donaghy

Melbourne Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy says he always thought Craig Bellamy would re-sign with the NRL champions.

Maroon McGuire calls for mental edge

JOSH MCGUIRE of the Broncos takes on the defence during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland hard man Josh McGuire explains how the Maroons can upset NSW in Sunday's must-win State of Origin clash.

Ponga set for Origin defensive test: Arrow

JAI ARROW runs through a training drill during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland forward Jai Arrow says NSW won't have much luck if they opt to target rookie Kalyn Ponga in defence in State of Origin II.

Maloney, Cook push for Kangaroos in Origin

Australia coach MAL MENINGA conducts an interview at Darwin Stadium in Darwin, Australia

Cooper Cronk's retirement leaves Australia in need of a long-term halfback, a role James Maloney could make his own if he keeps performing in State of Origin.

Blues' middle ready to seize the moment

JAMES TEDESCO of the Roosters runs the ball during the NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Gold Coast Titans at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Australia.

Having torn Queensland apart in State of Origin I, James Tedesco and Damien Cook are not fazed by the Maroons' efforts to shut them down in game two.

Maguire delays Kiwis Test team naming

Rabbitohs coach MICHAEL MAGUIRE looks on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

A conundrum at centre has forced New Zealand coach Michael Maguire to postpone his team naming for the rugby league Test against England in Denver.

Ponga can play No.1 for Queensland: Slater

KALYN PONGA of the Cowboys is tackled by Jake Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles during the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Manly Sea Eagles at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Queensland veteran No.1 Billy Slater has no problem moving to the wing and giving debutant Kalyn Ponga a crack at fullback in the second State of Origin clash.

A look at the Immortals short list

A look at the 10 players on the NRL's short list for the next induction of the Immortals later this year.

What to expect from Qld in Origin II

BILLY SLATER looks on during the Australian Kangaroos Rugby League World Cup training session at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Australia.

A guide to the Queensland team for State of Origin II against NSW in Sydney on June 24.

Is this the dawn of Origin's Ponga era?

KALYN PONGA of the Knights runs the ball during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Newcastle Knights at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

The inclusion of Kalyn Ponga shapes as key for Queensland heading into Sunday's State of Origin game two at ANZ Stadium.

What to expect from NSW in Origin II

JAMES TEDESCO of the Blues is tackled by Felipe Kaufusi of the Maroons during the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at the MCG in Melbourne, Australia.

A guide to the NSW team for State of Origin II against Queensland in Sydney on June 24.

Walters releases Qld 17, sweats on line-up

Coach KEVIN WALTERS calls out instructions to his players during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session at Sanctuary Cove in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters has released his team line-up but is still sweating on Dylan Napa ahead of a must-win State of Origin clash in Sydney.

Hess ready to reclaim Maroons Midas touch

COEN HESS of the Cowboys looks to get past Josh Morris of the Bulldogs during the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Canterbury Bulldogs at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Unlucky Queensland back-rower Coen Hess admits he can barely remember the last time he tasted victory ahead of a must-win State of Origin clash at ANZ Stadium.

Crichton thought NSW teammate was a 'grub'

ANGUS CRICHTON of the Rabbitohs during the NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

NSW back-rower Angus Crichton admits he initially thought his new Blues teammate Matt Prior was a grub after facing off against him in the NRL.

Lodge's quest to repay NRL's faith

MATTHEW LODGE of the Tigers is tackled during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the North Queensland Cowboys at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Matt Lodge has moved to pay off one debt but knows there's many more still owing as the controversial Brisbane forward eyes a future in the NRL.

Kiwis out to exorcise World Cup demons

Rabbitohs coach MICHAEL MAGUIRE watches on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Coach Michael Maguire and a host of new players have injected life into a Kiwis team seeking redemption from last year's World Cup failure, says Peta Hiku.

Ponga's head in good Origin place: Peachey

TYRONE PEACHEY of the Panthers is tackled during the NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Canberra Raiders at Carrington Park in Bathurst, Australia.

Used only sparingly for his debut in NSW's series-opening win, Tyrone Peachey understands the feeling of being in the dark about where and when he'll be used.

Provan, Lockyer in running for Immortals

Former NRL player DARREN LOCKYER is seen before the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

The NRL has announced a 10-man shortlist for the next induction of the Immortals later this year.

Let Tonga take on Kangaroos: Taumalolo

JASON TAUMALOLO of the Cowboys is tackled during the NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the North Queensland Cowboys at Lottoland in Sydney, Australia.

Tonga's Jason Taumalolo has called for the proposed rugby league Test with Australia to be given the green light.

Standalone Origin lessens NRL impact: CEO

NRL CEO TODD GREENBERG speaks during the 2018 NRL season launch at First Fleet Park in Sydney, Australia.

NRL boss Todd Greenberg believes Sunday's standalone State of Origin match has already lessened the impact on the national competition.

NRL's Lodge settles with New York victims

MATTHEW LODGE of the Tigers is tackled during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the North Queensland Cowboys at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Brisbane NRL player Matt Lodge has agreed to pay a confidential amount to the victims of his 2015 New York rampage as the Broncos prepare to re-sign the prop.

Roosters lock up Radley until 2023

VICTOR RADLEY of the Roosters in action during the NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Gold Coast Titans at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Australia.

The Sydney Roosters have signed rising star Victor Radley to a four-year NRL contract extension until the end of 2023.

Roberts sheds self-doubt for Origin II

JAMES ROBERTS in action during a New South Wales State of Origin training session at Coogee Oval in Sydney, Australia.

NSW centre James Roberts heads into State of Origin II with an air of confidence after being shrouded in self-doubt ahead of his debut in game one.

Adamson ready for Fiji coaching move

Interim Fiji rugby league coach Matt Adamson says he will move countries if he is offered the full-time role.

Blues' Cleary could've been in Denver

NATHAN CLEARY of the Panthers makes a run during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

NSW star Nathan Cleary has revealed owning a New Zealand passport could've resulted in him playing for the Kiwis instead of the Blues on Sunday.

New Kiwi Isaako dampens Folau comparison

ISRAEL FOLAU of the Wallabies takes on the defence during the Bledisloe Cup match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Israel Folau's brilliance was a rugby league inspiration for Jamayne Isaako but the rookie New Zealand winger says comparisons are "crazy".

Farah in NRL return home to Wests Tigers

ROBBIE FARAH passes during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

South Sydney have released Robbie Farah, allowing the decorated hooker to sign with his former club for the rest of 2018.

Munster living in the Origin moment

CAMERON MUNSTER of the Storm runs with the ball during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Cameron Munster says his Queensland side needs to own the big and small moments if they are to square the State of Origin series on Sunday.

Prior's long road to Origin Blues debut

RYAN JAMES of the Titans looks to make a pass despite the tackle of Brock Lamb of the Knights during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Newcastle Knights at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

A return to his front-row roots at the Sharks primed Matt Prior for a State of Origin debut a decade in the making.

Maroons prop Wallace takes aim at critics

JARROD WALLACE of the Titans looks dejected during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Queensland prop Jarrod Wallace has taken aim at his critics before setting his sights on NSW ahead of the second State of Origin clash at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

Qld delay Origin verdict on injured Napa

DYLAN NAPA of the Roosters is sin binned during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland will wait until Thursday to assess Dylan Napa's fitness after the Sydney Roosters prop tested his ankle injury at Maroons training on the Gold Coast.

Blues rake can't get Cooked by Maroons

DAMIEN COOK of the Rabbitohs makes a break during the NRL trial match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wigan at ANZ Stadium Sydney in Sydney, Australia.

NSW hooker Damien Cook could expect some extra attention from Queensland in State of Origin II after his impressive debut in game one.

Maroon Ponga has no regrets over NZ snub

KALYN PONGA of the Knights runs the ball during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Newcastle Knights at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

Kalyn Ponga has no regrets over snubbing his father's homeland New Zealand and pledging his allegiance to Queensland after earning his State of Origin debut.

I want Robbie to stay at Rabbitohs: Cook

ROBBIE FARAH passes during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

South Sydney veteran Robbie Farah has been linked with a move back to the Wests Tigers but the club's No.1 hooker Damien Cook doesn't want him to leave.

Sutton and Klein retained for Origin II

The same referees that oversaw State of Origin I have been retained for game two in Sydney, the NRL has announced on Tuesday.

Bird eyeing NRL return after more surgery

JACK BIRD of the Blues receives a pass during the New South Wales State of Origin training session in Coffs Harbour, Australia.

Brisbane remain optimistic high-profile recruit Jack Bird could still play NRL again this season after getting the all-clear following surgery.

Key factors to decide Origin II

A look at the crucial points which will decide who will win State of Origin II in Sydney on Sunday.

Ponga not fazed by foreign Origin welcome

KALYN PONGA of the Knights runs the ball during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Newcastle Knights at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

Queensland rookie Kalyn Ponga is feeling comfortable and confident ahead of his State of Origin debut despite the uncertainty surrounding his role.

Kiwis play down Denver Test difficulties

The Kiwis are "bouncing around" after touching down in Denver and have brushed aside any perceived problems about playing England at altitude.

Cordner orders NSW to go for Origin kill

BOYD CORDNER of the Blues runs the ball during the State Of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Last year was just the second time in the past nine years that the team who won State of Origin I went on to lose the series.

Napa faces tough choice ahead of Origin II

DYLAN NAPA of the Roosters is sin binned during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Sydney Roosters front-rower Dylan Napa is hopeful of playing State of Origin II but admits he may have to step aside for Melbourne's Tim Glasby.

Milford's Samoa role keenly watched

ANTHONY MILFORD of the Broncos passes the ball during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Anthony Milford could shift to fullback for Samoa for Saturday's Pacific Test against Tonga.

Hayne wants to take Pacific Test to US

JARRYD HAYNE takes part in a Parramatta Eels NRL pre-season training session at Old Saleyards Reserve in Sydney, Australia.

Jarryd Hayne wants more Pacific Tests as he prepares to run out for Fiji this weekend, and says the place to make them grow is the United States.

NSW Blues' Prior fourth oldest debutant

Nathan Peats speaks to City coach BRAD FITTLER during a City NSW Origin training session at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Cronulla prop Matt Prior has got the nod over Ryan James in NSW's 17-man team that will take on Queensland in State of Origin II on Sunday.

Ennis unleashes on struggling Bulldogs

MICHAEL ENNIS of the Sharks offloads the ball during the 2016 NRL Grand Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Former Canterbury captain Michael Ennis has described the Bulldogs' loss to the Gold Coast as "diabolical" after losing patience with his old side's attack.

Cleary goes from Origin fan to dream maker

NATHAN CLEARY of the Panthers kicks during the NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Pepper Stadium Sydney, Australia.

Nathan Cleary was a 16-year-old in Blatchy's Blues last time NSW won a State of Origin series, now he's the man charged with spearheading them to success.

Heat on Qld's Wallace after second chance

JARROD WALLACE passes during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session at Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland hope Jarrod Wallace makes the most of his "second chance" after retaining the maligned prop for Sunday's State of Origin game two.

Maroons turn to hardman Gillmeister

Queensland will turn to their 'Minister for Defence' - former Maroons hardman Trevor Gillmeister - after missing 55 tackles in their opening Origin loss.

Klemmer ready to lead Blues pack again

DAVID KLEMMER of the Bulldogs is tackled during the NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Panthers at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

NSW prop David Klemmer is ready to lead the Blues pack in game two, no matter whether Ryan James or Matt Prior partners him in the front row.

Prior shares keys to locking up Ponga

KALYN PONGA of the Cowboys is tackled by Jake Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles during the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Manly Sea Eagles at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Cronulla are the only team to truly shut Kalyn Ponga down this NRL season and Matt Prior is ready to share their secrets with the NSW brains trust.

Wearing maroon didn't feel right: James

RYAN JAMES of the Titans looks to make a pass despite the tackle of Brock Lamb of the Knights during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Newcastle Knights at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

NSW State of Origin rookie Ryan James has previously represented Queensland in an under-18s game in 2009, but says he's now where he belongs.

Newest Blues baby had Prior Origin plans

NSW bolter Matt Prior planned to spend the representative round with his newborn baby before being called into the Blues squad for State of Origin II.

Kalyn Ponga's time has come: Miles

KALYN PONGA of the Knights runs the ball during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Newcastle Knights at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

The Queensland hierarchy are doing their best to keep a lid on Kalyn Ponga's Origin expectations after the 20-year-old was named to debut on Sunday.

Knights' Fitzgibbon faces two-game NRL ban

Newcastle forward Lachlan Fitzgibbon has been hit with a grade-two dangerous contact charge from Sunday's loss to Melbourne.

Maroons give injured Napa Origin deadline

KALYN PONGA of the Knights runs the ball during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Newcastle Knights at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

Queensland say Sydney Roosters prop Dylan Napa is the Maroons' biggest injury concern ahead of their must-win State of Origin game two.

Mitchell thought of McKinnon after injury

LATRELL MITCHELL of the Roosters scores a try during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

NSW centre Latrell Mitchell is all but certain to play in State of Origin II after suffering a neck injury that he thought may have ended his NRL career.

Broncos players want Bennett to stay: Boyd

DARIUS BOYD of the Broncos passes the ball during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

After Brisbane missed out on Craig Bellamy, skipper Darius Boyd says the Broncos would be silly to let coach Wayne Bennett go when his contract expires in 2019.

Hodgson return ignites Raiders

Josh Hodgson of the Raiders in action during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roostrers at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

Josh Hodgson starred in his return from a seven-month injury lay-off to inspire Canberra to a 48-12 defeat of the Wests Tigers.

Slater ready to make difference: Walters

BILLY SLATER looks on during the Australian Kangaroos Rugby League World Cup training session at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters says Billy Slater is ready to step up and be the difference in their must-win State of Origin clash in Sydney.

Kiwis no development team: Maguire

Rabbitohs coach MICHAEL MAGUIRE looks on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Kiwi coach Michael Maguire has delivered a frosty response to claims he is fielding a development side against England in Denver.

Knights won't rush Pearce back early

MITCHELL PEARCE of the Knights in the warm up during the NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Manly Sea Eagles at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Mitchell Pearce won't return against Canterbury but Knights coach Nathan Brown expects to have him following the round 17 bye.

Smith energised for future after rep call

CAMERON SMITH of the Storm charges forward during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Melbourne Storm at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Cameron Smith looks the most likely Melbourne veteran to enter into another season with re-signed coach Craig Bellamy in 2019.

Fifita, Taumalolo named in Tonga team

ANDREW FIFITA warms up during the Tonga Rugby League World Cup Semi Final Captain's Run at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Andrew Fifita and Jason Taumalolo have been named in Tonga's team for Saturday's Pacific Test against Samoa in Sydney.

Hodgson ignites Raiders' NRL season

Josh Hodgson of the Raiders in action during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roostrers at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

Returning hooker Josh Hodgson has fired Canberra to a 48-12 NRL defeat of the Wests Tigers on Sunday.

Snapshot of round 15 of the NRL

What happened in round 15 of the NRL.

Tigers at crossroads after Raiders mauling

Josh Hodgson of the Raiders in action during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roostrers at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

A returning Josh Hodgson has inspired Canberra to a 48-12 NRL thrashing of the Wests Tigers on Sunday.

Weakened Kiwis to face England in Denver

Rabbitohs coach MICHAEL MAGUIRE looks on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Up to seven players could make their New Zealand Test debuts against England, with coach Michael Maguire unveiling a green squad for the Denver clash.

Bennett in box seat after Bellamy snub

Coach WAYNE BENNETT watches on during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Wayne Bennett again finds himself in the box seat at Brisbane after the NRL club missed out on snaring off-contract Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy.

Klemmer set to avoid Origin ban

DAVID KLEMMER of the Bulldogs is tackled during the NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Panthers at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

NSW Blues prop David Klemmer can avoid missing Origin game II with an early guilty plea to a dangerous contact charge.

Smith says Maroons must pick Ponga

KALYN PONGA of the Cowboys is tackled by Jake Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles during the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Manly Sea Eagles at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Kalyn Ponga was the real winner as Melbourne beat his Knights 28-10, with Cameron Smith declaring he must be picked for State of Origin II.

Lockyer shuts down Qld snub of DCE

Former NRL player DARREN LOCKYER is seen before the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland selector Darren Lockyer has done his best to hose down speculation the Maroons don't like maligned Manly playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans.

Bellamy transitions eras for perfect Storm

Storm head coach CRAIG BELLAMY looks dejected after defeat during the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Wests Tigers at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Craig Bellamy will oversee the start of the next era at the Melbourne Storm after he re-signed as coach of the NRL club on a three-year deal.

Cowboys' Morgan out for NRL season

MICHAEL MORGAN of the Cowboys kicks a field goal during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

North Queensland star Michael Morgan has been booked to undergo season-ending surgery on a torn bicep suffered in Friday's NRL loss to the Warriors.

NRL Magic Round reappears a week earlier

TODD GREENBERG, Chief Executive Officer of the National Rugby League looks on after the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

The NRL has announced its Magic Round in Brisbane next year will be held a week earlier after a Super Rugby clash was revealed.

McGregor cautious on Dragons' way ahead

Coach of the Dragons PAUL MCGREGOR looks on during the NRL trial match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and Hull at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Paul McGregor has indicated St George Illawarra will use the luxury of being at the top of the NRL ladder to rest players during the representative period.

Bennett tables extension plan at Broncos

Coach WAYNE BENNETT talks to his players during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett has tabled a proposal to the club about staying on after his current contract expires at the end of next year.

Barrett won't give up Fainu hooker fight

Sea Eagles coach TRENT BARRETT during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Manly Sea Eagles at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Manly coach Trent Barrett has vowed to "knock on the NRL's door" every Monday until they let him play rookie hooker Manase Fainu in the NRL.

NSW Blues pair get Origin green light

LUKE KEARY of the Roosters takes the ball during the NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Brisbane Broncos at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

James Maloney and Latrell Mitchell have been declared fit to start for NSW in game two of State of Origin in Sydney next Sunday.

Broncos game-winner was forward: Sharks

Sutherland Sharks coach SHANE FLANAGAN looks on during the Dacia World Club Challenge match between Wigan Warriors and Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at DW Stadium in Wigan, England.

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan believes Brisbane captain Darius Boyd's pass for Corey Oates' game-winning try was forward by five metres.

Pay blasts Dogs following Titans loss

Bulldogs coach DEAN PAY looks on at the post match media conference at the end of during the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Canterbury Bulldogs at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Canterbury coach Dean Pay says he feels sorry for the NRL club's fans following their insipid 32-10 loss to the Gold Coast.

Mbye refuses to point finger at Dogs

MOSES MBYE of the Bulldogs scores the winning try during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Newcastle Knights at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

Moses Mbye has refused to point the finger at Canterbury following his premature exit from the NRL club.

James, Prior, Keary join NSW Origin squad

RYAN JAMES of the Titans offloads while tackled during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Wests Tigers at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Gold Coast forward Ryan James, Cronulla prop Matt Prior and Sydney Roosters playmaker Luke Keary have been added to the NSW State of Origin squad for game two.

Oates' stunner fires Broncos over Sharks

Brisbane winger Corey Oates has scored a spectacular try to deliver Brisbane a four-point win over Cronulla in round 15 of the NRL.

DCE not fazed by Watmough tirade

DALY CHERRY-EVANS of the Sea Eagles passes during the NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Manly Sea Eagles at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans insists he wasn't fazed by the expletive-ridden tirade launched against him by ex-teammate Anthony Watmough this week.

Titan Ryan James earns NSW Origin call-up

RYAN JAMES of the Titans looks to make a pass despite the tackle of Brock Lamb of the Knights during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Newcastle Knights at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Gold Coast prop Ryan James has been named in the 20-man NSW squad for State of Origin II.

Dragons beat Manly to go top of NRL table

BEN HUNT passes the ball during a Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

St George Illawarra are alone at the top of the NRL ladder after a 32-8 defeat of Manly at WIN Stadium.

Craig Bellamy's career by the numbers

Coach of the Storm CRAIG BELLAMY looks on during a Melbourne Storm Training Session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne NRL coach Craig Bellamy has knocked back an offer from Brisbane and signed a contract extension with the Storm.

Bellamy signs new Storm NRL coaching deal

CRAIG BELLAMY speaks to media during a Melbourne Storm NRL media announcement at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has rejected an offer from Brisbane, signing a contract extension with the NRL's defending premiers.

Bulldogs slump to worst start in 54 years

MOSES MBYE of the Bulldogs celebrates scoring the winning try during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Newcastle Knights at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

Gold Coast have defeated Canterbury 32-10 in their NRL clash at Belmore Sportsground, with the Bulldogs slumping to their worst start to a season in 54 years.

No Reynolds, Tigers' NRL punt on Gamble

JOSH REYNOLDS of the Bulldogs runs the ball during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Josh Reynolds will miss the Wests Tigers' NRL clash with Canberra due to a hamstring injury, meaning rookie Tyson Gamble will come into the halves.

NRL charge might cost Blair NZ Test berth

ADAM BLAIR of the Warriors reacts during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Captain Adam Blair will miss New Zealand's rugby league Test against England in Denver unless he can beat a dangerous contact charge.

Ponga to make case for Origin call up

KALYN PONGA of the Knights runs the ball during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Newcastle Knights at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

Newcastle fullback has a golden opportunity to demand a Queensland State of Origin call up during Sunday's clash with Melbourne.

Campbell-Gillard out of Origin II

REAGAN CAMPBELL-GILLARD poses before a New South Wales State of Origin training session at Coogee Oval in Sydney, Australia.

NSW prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard has broken his jaw and is out of State of Origin II.

Just a stiff neck: Mitchell says he's fine

LATRELL MITCHELL of the Roosters scores a try during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Latrell Mitchell has been cleared of a serious injury, with the livewire centre declaring he'll just have a stiff neck for a couple of days ahead of Origin II.

Blues brace for Origin "possessed" Inglis

ANGUS CRICHTON of the Rabbitohs during the NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

NSW second-rower Angus Crichton says Queensland skipper and South Sydney teammate Greg Inglis was a 'man possessed' in State of Origin I.

Bennett backs Ofahengaue Qld debut

Coach WAYNE BENNETT of the Broncos answers questions at a press conference after the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Wayne Bennett has backed Brisbane bench forward Joe Ofahengaue to answer an SOS from an injury-hit Queensland and take the step up to State of Origin.

Bennett wants Origin held in June

Coach WAYNE BENNETT watches on during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Wayne Bennett has backed stand alone Sunday night State of Origin games but says ideally the whole series would be held solely in June.

Green hopeful of late season Cowboys lift

Cowboys coach PAUL GREEN looks on before the start of the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Paul Green says his Cowboys' losses against the top sides have been close enough to suggest they will turn things around in the second half of the NRL season.

Hodgson urged to ease into NRL comeback

Raiders coach RICKY STUART watches on during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Canterbury Bulldogs at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has warned England international Josh Hodgson not to try to make up for lost time in his NRL injury comeback match.

NRL predicting Origin ratings bonanza

NRL CEO TODD GREENBERG speaks during the 2018 NRL season launch at First Fleet Park in Sydney, Australia.

The NRL predicst next Sunday's first stand alone State of Origin will be a ratings bonanza for the code.

James has Klemmer in sights after NSW snub

RYAN JAMES of the Titans offloads while tackled during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Wests Tigers at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Gold Coast captain Ryan James will have Canterbury's David Klemmer in his sights in Saturday's NRL clash after his cruel NSW State of Origin snub.

Slater will be picked by Qld: Walters

KALYN PONGA of the Knights runs the ball during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Newcastle Knights at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters says Billy Slater will be named for State of Origin game two but must prove his fitness by Wednesday.

Roosters make statement in NRL bloodbath

REAGAN CAMPBELL-GILLARD of Australia pushes away AKUILA UATE of Fiji as he is tackled during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match between the Australian Kangaroos and Fiji at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Four State of Origin players have suffered potential injuries in the Sydney Roosters' 32-6 NRL flogging of Penrith at Allianz Stadium.

Campbell-Gillard, Mitchell suffer injuries

LATRELL MITCHELL of the Roosters scores a try during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

NSW's Reagan Campbell-Gillard (jaw) and Latrell Mitchell (neck) could be in doubt for Game II of the State of Origin series for NSW after suffering injuries.

Friday NRL spells injury woes for Maroons

DYLAN NAPA of the Roosters is sin binned during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland's State of Origin woes continue with injuries to Dylan Napa and Michael Morgan in their respective Friday night NRL matches.

Morgan in doubt for Qld Origin with injury

MICHAEL MORGAN of the Cowboys runs the ball during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

Maroons utility Michael Morgan is in doubt for State of Origin II with a suspected torn bicep, suffered in North Queensland's 23-16 NRL loss to the Warriors.

Dogs facing worst start since '64

Heading into Saturday's NRL clash with the Gold Coast at spiritual home Belmore, Canterbury are staring down the barrel of their worst season start since 1964.

Titans coach open to signing Eels' Norman

COREY NORMAN of the Eels in action during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan has not ruled out signing Parramatta's Corey Norman but says their priority is recruiting players from their local feeder clubs.

NRL posts $28 million half-year profit

The NRL says it has recorded a $27.8 million profit for the first half of 2018.

Bennett shoots down Eels move

Coach WAYNE BENNETT of the Broncos answers questions at a press conference after the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Wayne Bennett has shot down speculation linking the Brisbane coach with a move to NRL rivals Parramatta.

Sharks' Graham reaches out to clipped Bird

JACK BIRD of the Blues receives a pass during the New South Wales State of Origin training session in Coffs Harbour, Australia.

Brisbane star Jack Bird was supposed to be playing his first match against former club Cronulla in round 15 of the NRL on Saturday.

Hastings not answer to Manly hooker crisis

JACKSON HASTINGS of the Eagles in action during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Manly Sea Eagles at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

Manly coach Trent Barrett says Jackson Hastings isn't the answer to their hooker crisis after their submission to field youngster Manase Fainu was rejected.

Kiwis must take priority over NRL: Lowe

Rabbitohs coach MICHAEL MAGUIRE watches on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Michael Maguire's first New Zealand selection shouldn't be hampered by players torn over NRL club duty says former Kiwis coach Graham Lowe.

Papalii re-signs with Canberra until 2022

JOSH PAPALII of the Raiders runs the ball during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Newcastle Knights at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

Queensland forward Josh Papalii has re-signed with NRL club Canberra for another four seasons, knocking back interest from South Sydney.

Bird's NRL season likely over: Bennett

Coach WAYNE BENNETT of the Broncos answers questions at a press conference after the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Brisbane's prized recruit Jack Bird's NRL season appears over after just eight games with the ex-NSW star booked for sternum surgery.

DCE right man to lead Manly, says Barrett

DALY CHERRY-EVANS of the Eagles in action during the 20 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Manly Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

Manly coach Trent Barrett has hit back at suggestions Daly Cherry-Evans should be stripped of the NRL club's captaincy.

Mbye moving early from Bulldogs to Tigers

MOSES MBYE of the Bulldogs celebrates scoring the winning try during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Newcastle Knights at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

Canterbury have confirmed Moses Mbye will play his last NRL game for the club against Gold Coast on Saturday before he moves across to the Wests Tigers.

Farah could make Tigers return: report

ROBBIE FARAH passes during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

South Sydney are unlikely to object if Robbie Farah leaves mid-season to return to the Wests Tigers.

Injury sidelines Warriors winger Fusitu'a

DAVID FUSITUA of the Warriors charges into Aidan Sezer of the Raiders during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

In-form winger David Fusitu'a will miss the Warriors' NRL match against North Queensland in Townsville but Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been cleared to play.

Rabbitohs begin talks on Seibold extension

Head coach ANTHONY SEIBOLD looks on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

NRL leaders South Sydney have opened talks to extend the contract of Anthony Seibold despite the rookie coach being just 15 games into his maiden season.

Arthur frustrated with disappointing Eels

Eels head coach BRAD ARTHUR talks to players during a Parramatta Eels NRL training session in Sydney, Australia.

Parramatta's 18-point loss to South Sydney was their third-heaviest defeat of the NRL season so far, cementing their spot at the bottom of the table.

Fergo shakes off axing to lead Roosters

BLAKE FERGUSON of the Roosters in action during the round seven NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Sydney Roosters at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Sydney Roosters winger Blake Ferguson has shaken off his NSW axing to lead his NRL side, according to coach Trent Robinson.

Rabbitohs' Jennings spoils brother's night

South Sydney winger Robert Jennings has scored a career-high four tries in the Rabbitohs' 42-24 thrashing of Parramatta in round 15 of the NRL.

No fresh bid by Manly to play NRL rookie

Manly have not provided a second request for an exemption to play young hooker Manase Fainu in the NRL this weekend.

No push for Foran NRL retirement: Bulldogs

KIERAN FORAN speaks to the media during a New Zealand Warriors NRL media session at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Canterbury say there is no substance to reports they're seeking to retire NRL playmaker Kieran Foran on medical grounds.

Knights sign Brown to open-ended NRL deal

Newcastle Knights coach NATHAN BROWN during a Newcastle Knights NRL pre-season training session at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Newcastle have signed NRL coach Nathan Brown to an open-ended contract extension.

Warriors can cope with player loss: Green

BLAKE GREEN of the Warriors looks to pass during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the New Zealand Warriors at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

The Warriors will be hit harder than any NRL club by the looming international weekend but Blake Green reckons they have the personnel to cope.

Slater out of Knights clash, good for Qld

BILLY SLATER of Australia breaks away to score a try during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia

Melbourne star Billy Slater will miss Sunday's NRL clash against Newcastle but has been cleared to play for Queensland in State of Origin II.

Green calls on teetering, revamped Cowboys

Cowboys coach PAUL GREEN looks on before the start of the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Coach Paul Green is banking on his new-look backline to salvage North Queensland's NRL finals hopes, which are hanging by a thread.

Roosters prepare for Panthers test

TRENT ROBINSON looks on during a Sydney Roosters NRL training session at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

The NRL's two best defensive sides will meet when the Sydney Roosters face Penrith at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.

NSW forward caught out by tough talk

REAGAN CAMPBELL-GILLARD poses before a New South Wales State of Origin training session at Coogee Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Expect NSW forward Reagan Campbell-Gillard to choose his words more carefully ahead of State of Origin II, given his baptism of fire at the MCG.

Brimson firms in battle for Titans' No.6

ALEXANDER BRIMSON of the Titans runs the ball during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Newcastle Knights at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Gold Coast teenager AJ Brimson has worked his way into the club's long-term plans after holding his own against one of the NRL's most imposing figures.

Broncos need Boyd more than ever: Oates

COREY OATES of the Broncos looks on during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Corey Oates has welcomed Darius Boyd's shock representative retirement, saying his NRL club Brisbane needs their captain now more than ever.

Dragons clock miles to defy finals trend

JAMES GRAHAM of the Dragons in action during the NRL trial match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium in Mudgee, Australia.

Having thrown their top-eight spot away for the past two years, St George Illawarra are pulling out all stops to avoid a third-straight NRL finals absence.

Bird faces more NRL time out with surgery

JACK BIRD of the Sharks is tackled during the 2016 NRL Grand Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Brisbane NRL utility Jack Bird looks likely to remain on the sidelines for a while yet as he assesses the need for surgery on his injured sternum.

Taumalolo pledges allegiance to Tonga

JASON TAUMALOLO of the Cowboys is tackled during a NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

North Queensland's Jason Taumalolo has confirmed his allegiance to Tonga ahead of the Pacific Test against Samoa, again turning his back on New Zealand.

Souths prove they're the real deal

Coach ANTHONY SEIBOLD looks on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

South Sydney are searching for their seventh straight NRL win against lowly-ranked Parramatta at ANZ Stadium on Thursday.

Walters backs Morgan for NQ No.7 jersey

MICHAEL MORGAN of the Cowboys runs the ball during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

Kevin Walters has backed Mal Meninga's call that Michael Morgan should be given North Queensland's No.7 jersey after coach Paul Green resisted the temptation.

Buhrer cleared of season-ending injury

JAMIE BUHRER of the Sea Eagles runs with the ball during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Manly Sea Eagles at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Newcastle co-captain Jamie Buhrer has been cleared of a season-ending ACL injury, but he will miss six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery on his knee.

De Belin puts body on the line for Dragons

JACK DE BELIN of the Dragons runs the ball during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

St George Illawarra star Jack de Belin has played with the aid of a painkilling injection for the past five weeks - including the State of Origin opener.

Tongan Pangai OK on Ofahengaue Origin wish

TEVITA PANGAI of the Broncos breaks away from the defence during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Tevita Pangai has no issue with Brisbane NRL teammate Joe Ofahengaue turning his back on Tonga and changing allegiances in the hope of a Maroons Origin call-up.

Woods supports NRL's sin-bin for foul play

AARON WOODS of the Kangaroos looks on during the Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match between the Australian Kangaroos and Fiji at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Canterbury prop Aaron Woods supports the NRL's decision to allow the sin-bin for foul play, saying it will protect playmakers.

Snub spurs Oates on to Maroons recall

COREY OATES of the Broncos looks on during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Brisbane's Corey Oates is more determined than ever to regain his Queensland spot after letting his State of Origin snub affect his NRL form.

Wallace endorses Maloney as Penrith leader

JAMES MALONEY of the Sharks runs the ball during the 2016 NRL Grand Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Penrith veteran James Maloney is set to take over the captaincy for the rest of the NRL season following the shock retirement of Peter Wallace.

Souths want Sutton to play on in 2019

Head coach ANTHONY SEIBOLD looks on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold says he wants veteran John Sutton to play on next NRL season.

Watmough unleashes on Manly skipper DCE

ANTHONY WATMOUGH of the Eels runs the ball during the NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Parramatta Eels at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Former Manly forward Anthony Watmough says current skipper Daly Cherry-Evans threatened not to turn up to training unless the club gave him more money.

Blair better for NZ World Cup disaster

ADAM BLAIR of the Kiwis speaks to the media in Christchurch, New Zealand

The Kiwis World Cup disaster served up plenty of lessons to Adam Blair, who will lead the Kiwis against England in Denver next week.

Qld coach Walters backs prop Wallace

Coach KEVIN WALTERS gives directions during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters has thrown his support behind maligned prop Jarrod Wallace ahead of their must-win State of Origin clash in Sydney.

Mbye prefers to see out year at Dogs

MOSES MBYE of the Bulldogs scores the winning try during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Newcastle Knights at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

Linked to a mid-season Wests Tigers switch, Moses Mbye says he is wary of burning bridges and prefers to see out the 2018 NRL campaign with Canterbury.

Qld era may never be seen again: Walters

DARIUS BOYD of the Broncos is tackled during the NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Brisbane Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters says Darius Boyd's retirement has rammed home the fact the Maroons' era of State of Origin dominance is officially over.

Walters hints at Ponga's Qld debut

KALYN PONGA of the Cowboys is tackled by Jake Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles during the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Manly Sea Eagles at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters has given his strongest indication yet that Newcastle young gun Kalyn Ponga will make his State of Origin debut in game two.

Greenberg not in race for CA job

NRL CEO TODD GREENBERG speaks during the 2018 NRL season launch at First Fleet Park in Sydney, Australia.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg says he is not in the running to take over from out-going Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland.

Warrior Tuivasa-Sheck eyes Cowboys return

ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK of the Kiwis passes during a New Zealand Kiwis Rugby League World Cup Training Session at the Warriors training Grounds in Auckland, New Zealand.

The up-and-down Warriors will be hopeful of captain Roger Tuivasa Sheck's return when his side take on the Cowboys.

Raiders' Hodgson back from ACL injury

Josh Hodgson of the Raiders in action during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Sydney Roostrers at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

Star Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson will play his first game since being injured in November after being named in the Raiders' starting line-up.

Slater named for Storm NRL injury return

BILLY SLATER looks on during the Australian Kangaroos Rugby League World Cup training session at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Australia.

Melbourne veteran fullback Billy Slater has been named to make a return from a hamstring injury in the Storm's NRL clash with Newcastle.

Cowboys must cut out 'under-9' NRL errors

GAVIN COOPER of the Cowboys is tackled during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

North Queensland back-rower Gavin Cooper knows his side's NRL woes will continue against the Warriors if they don't cut the basic errors out of their game.

Graham feels for ex-teammates at Bulldogs

JAMES GRAHAM of the Dragons in action during the NRL trial match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium in Mudgee, Australia.

James Graham remains close with his former Canterbury teammates and has offered his support to the embattled group.

Walters feels sorry for retired Boyd

Coach KEVIN WALTERS gives directions during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters says Darius Boyd was in the State of Origin selection mix before announcing his shock representative retirement.

Jesse Bromwich out for six weeks of NRL

Jesse Bromwich of the Melbourne Storm is tackled during the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne's Test prop Jesse Bromwich will miss up to six weeks of NRL action after injuring his hamstring in their win over Brisbane.

Souths' left edge behind NRL title drive

South Sydney's left side has created more tries than any other edge this NRL season.

Studdon to lead NSW women's Origin team

RUAN SIMS of Australia runs at the defence during the 2017 Rugby League Women's World Cup Final between Australia and New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

NSW star Ruan Sims' replacement as Blues captain for the inaugural women's State of Origin match against Queensland is South Sydney's Maddison Studdon.

Tigers unfazed by Raiders NRL horror run

ELIJAH TAYLOR of the Kiwis looks on during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between the New Zealand Kiwis and Scotland at AMI Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Wests Tigers are unfazed by a recent horror record against Canberra as the two sides enter a tight fight to make it into the NRL's top eight.

NRL ease-up on referees' penalty crackdown

TODD GREENBERG, Chief Executive Officer of the National Rugby League looks on after the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

NRL referees have been told to ease up on their penalty crackdown, CEO Todd Greenberg has announced.

No captain for Kiwis in Denver: Maguire

SIMON MANNERING of the Warriors on the charge during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

The New Zealand team to face England in Denver is weakening by the day as coach Michael Maguire reveals he won't name a captain.

Wallace played without ACL before retiring

PETER WALLACE of the Panthers watches on during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Penrith captain Peter Wallace's toughness has been made clear after it was revealed he played without an ACL in his knee for two years before retiring.

Rooster Radley inspired by Matai big hits

VICTOR RADLEY of the Roosters is tackled during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

When Roosters young gun Victor Radley was a kid he and his mates used to sit around watching Steve Matai videos.

Gubb should have been sent off: Merrin

TRENT MERRIN of the Panthers is tackled during the NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Canberra Raiders at Carrington Park in Bathurst, Australia.

Trent Merrin feels Charlie Gubb should have been more severely punished after his carelessness put Cleary in danger of injury.

Fittler hints unchanged Blues Origin squad

Nathan Peats speaks to City coach BRAD FITTLER during a City NSW Origin training session at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Blues coach Brad Fittler is looking at injury replacements for Origin II but intimated at an otherwise unchanged line-up.

Slater must train to play Origin II: Gould

BILLY SLATER looks on during the Australian Kangaroos Rugby League World Cup training session at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Australia.

Phil Gould says Billy Slater simply can't be picked for Origin II if he's still in the midst of rehab while the team rush through a shorter camp.

Dragons find that NRL premiership edge

New Dragons coach PAUL MCGREGOR watches over his players during a St George Illawarra Dragons NRL training session at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

St George Illawarra have reclaimed pole position in the NRL after edging Canterbury by two points in a game they would have lost last season.

Pay hopeful of turning Bulldogs' fortunes

Bulldogs coach DEAN PAY looks on at the post match media conference at the end of during the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Canterbury Bulldogs at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Canterbury's two-point loss to St George Illawarra means six of their past seven defeats in the NRL have been by eight points or less.

Injured Sims ruled out of Women's Origin

Ruan Sims was set to lead the Blues against Queensland at North Sydney Oval on June 22 but revealed her multiple knocks would relegate her to the sidelines.

Boyd quits rep footy after Origin axing

DARIUS BOYD of the Broncos is tackled during the NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Brisbane Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Veteran fullback Darius Boyd has pulled the representative plug to join retired Maroons Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.

Mbye keeps door open to mid-season switch

MOSES MBYE of the Bulldogs celebrates scoring the winning try during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Newcastle Knights at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

Canterbury fullback Moses Mbye admits it's possible he could move to the Wests Tigers before the June 30 deadline.

Dragons to send performance boss to Denver

New Dragons coach PAUL MCGREGOR watches over his players during a St George Illawarra Dragons NRL training session at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor will send his head of performance, Nathan Pickworth, to Denver to monitor his English and New Zealand Test stars.

Cordner expected to return for Roosters

BOYD CORDNER of the Roosters looks dejected after defeat in the NRL match between the St George Illawara Dragons and Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Jake Friend has no doubts fellow Sydney Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner will be fine for the NRL clash with Penrith.

Dragons edge Bulldogs,reclaim NRL top spot

St George Illawarra have reclaimed top spot on the NRL ladder with a two-point win over Canterbury.

Snapshot of round 14 of the NRL

What happened in round 14 of the NRL.

Sea Eagles' Koroisau out for 10 weeks

APISAI KOROISAU of the Sea Eagles passes during the NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Manly Sea Eagles at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Manly hooker Api Koroisau has been ruled out for up to 10 weeks with a foot injury suffered in their NRL defeat to the Warriors.

Penrith to strike before rep commitments

Viliame Kikau of the Panthers is tackled during the NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Penrith Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

With more representative honours likely for Penrith players in upcoming NZ and Pacific Tests the Panthers want to get some runs on the board now.

Thurston faces low-key Gold Coast farewell

JOHNATHAN THURSTON of the Cowboys looks to pass the ball during the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Melbourne Storm at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Johnathan Thurston's farewell tour looks set for an anticlimactic end unless the Cowboys can outdo last year's incredible run to the grand final.

Broncos' McGuire fined for Glasby stomp

JOSH MCGUIRE passes the ball during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Brisbane lock Josh McGuire has been charged with contrary conduct for stepping on the foot of Melbourne forward Tim Glasby in their round 14 NRL clash.

Glasby hoping for another Maroons crack

TIM GLASBY receives the ball during the Melbourne Storm NRL training session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne Storm forward Tim Glasby is hopeful of repeating his Queensland success with an appearance in Origin game two.

Gallen remains undecided on NRL future

PAUL GALLEN of the Sharks warms up during the NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Southern Cross Group Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Cronulla captain Paul Gallen has turned back the clock with a vintage performance in the Sharks' eight-point NRL win over the Wests Tigers.

Cleary questions NRL sin-bin increase

Tigers coach IVAN CLEARY looks on before the start of the NRL trial match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Wests Tigers at Barlow Park in Cairns, Australia.

Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary claims the original idea of increasing the use of the sin bin was to address the issue of repeated penalties in attacking zones.

Smith value to Storm on show: Bellamy

CAMERON SMITH of the Storm charges forward during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Melbourne Storm at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy says his NRL team may not have beaten Brisbane if Cameron Smith hadn't decided to quit representative football.

Storm roll Brisbane with big second half

Storm head coach CRAIG BELLAMY looks dejected after defeat during the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Wests Tigers at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne's Craig Bellamy has continued his dominant record over Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett - the coach he may replace - with a 32-16 NRL win.

Reynolds finding groove in Marshall's spot

JOSH REYNOLDS of the Bulldogs runs the ball during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

A calf injury to veteran Benji Marshall has paved the way for big-name recruit Josh Reynolds to play five-eighth for the Wests Tigers during the next few weeks.

Gallen sparks Sharks to win over Tigers

PAUL GALLEN of the Sharks warms up during the NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Southern Cross Group Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen has scored a try and set up another in the space of four minutes to lift the Sharks to a 24-16 NRL win over the Wests Tigers.

Lockyer calls for calm on Ponga Qld talk

KALYN PONGA of the Cowboys is tackled by Jake Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles during the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Manly Sea Eagles at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Wally Lewis says the time is now to pick Kalyn Ponga for State of Origin, but Queensland selector Darren Lockyer disagrees.

Saints include rep stars to beat history

New Dragons coach PAUL MCGREGOR watches over his players during a St George Illawarra Dragons NRL training session at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

All four of St George Illawarra's State of Origin players will be fit to face Canterbury in the NRL on Monday.

Eels ask Norman to fight through the pain

COREY NORMAN of the Eels in action during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Corey Norman overcame the pain barrier to help Parramatta end their five-game NRL losing streak with a win over North Queensland.

Morgan must replace Thurston now: Meninga

MICHAEL MORGAN of the Cowboys kicks a field goal during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga believes North Queensland needs to bite the bullet and make Michael Morgan their new starting halfback.

Barrett at a loss to lift Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles coach, TRENT BARRETT looks on during the NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Manly Sea Eagles at Pepper Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Manly were their own worst enemy in a third straight loss which leaves Trent Barrett's men at long odds to reach the NRL play-offs.

Warriors wingers coming of age: Johnson

SHAUN JOHNSON of the Warriors kicks his first field goal of the match to bring the scores level during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the New Zealand Warriors at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

Wingers David Fusitu'a and Ken Maumalo are rampaging through NRL defences but Warriors teammate Shaun Johnson says they're not yet in Manu Vatuvei's class.

Hayne plane lifts off as Eels beat Cowboys

JARRYD HAYNE takes part in a Parramatta Eels NRL pre-season training session at Old Saleyards Reserve in Sydney, Australia.

Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne has scored two tries and been involved in another for the Eels in their 20-14 win over North Queensland in round 14 of the NRL.

Buhrer injured as Roosters down Knights

JAMIE BUHRER of the Sea Eagles runs with the ball during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Manly Sea Eagles at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Jamie Buhrer has a suspected torn ACL after Newcastle's 18-16 NRL loss to the Sydney Roosters at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.

Titans' Wallace faces one-match NRL ban

JARROD WALLACE of the Titans looks dejected during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Gold Coast prop Jarrod Wallace is facing a one-game NRL ban for dangerous contact, which would rob him of a final chance to impress Maroons selectors next week.

Suli dumping an important lesson: Barrett

MOSES SULI of the Tigers is tackled during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Gold Coast Titans at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Trent Barrett says Moses Suli has been nothing but professional since joining Manly, until this week when he had to pay a price for a passport blunder.

Johnson-inspired Warriors overwhelm Manly

SHAUN JOHNSON of the Kiwis in action during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between the New Zealand Kiwis and Tonga at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Two rampaging wingers and an attacking clinic from Shaun Johnson have carried the Warriors to a 34-14 win over Manly in Christchurch.

Wests Tigers in no rush to get more Grubby

JOSH REYNOLDS of the Bulldogs runs the ball during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Wests Tigers star Josh Reynolds is two games into a return from a hamstring injury but won't be rushed back into the starting line-up any time soon.

Smith's Origin call a Storm bonus: Bellamy

CAMERON SMITH of the Storm passes the ball during a Melbourne Storm NRL training session at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy is expecting Cameron Smith's decision to quit rep football to have rewards for the Storm when they host Brisbane on Sunday.

No decision on coaching future: Bellamy

Coach of the Storm CRAIG BELLAMY looks on during a Melbourne Storm Training Session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy says he's still to make a decision on whether to re-sign with the NRL champions or head to Brisbane, who the Storm host on Sunday.

James back to best after Origin backflip

RYAN JAMES of the Titans looks to make a pass despite the tackle of Brock Lamb of the Knights during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Newcastle Knights at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Gold Coast captain Ryan James has shrugged off the heartbreak of his Origin near-miss to ensure he remains in the frame for NSW if injury strikes.

Brennan takes aim at 'Supercoach' critics

Head Coach GARTH BRENNAN looks on during a Gold Coast Titans NRL training session at Parkwood in Gold Coast, Australia.

Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan has vigorously defended Queensland forward Jarrod Wallace after his effort was criticised in the Origin opener.

Seibold explains Origin management plan

Coach ANTHONY SEIBOLD looks on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold will keep a close eye on his representative stars as the side tries its best to maintain momentum during the Origin period.

Raiders didn't throw game away: Stuart

Raiders coach RICKY STUART watches on during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Canterbury Bulldogs at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

Coach Ricky Stuart believes Canberra's loss to Penrith was one of their best performances of the year after they were sunk by a Nathan Cleary field goal.

Maloney lets Cleary take field goal winner

NATHAN CLEARY of the Panthers kicks during the NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Pepper Stadium Sydney, Australia.

NSW stars Nathan Cleary and James Maloney have backed up for Penrith two days after playing in the State of Origin opener, helping deliver a tough club win.

Cleary downs Raiders with late field goal

NATHAN CLEARY of the Panthers makes a run during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Penrith's four NSW Origin stars have helped engineer a stunning 23-22 NRL victory for the Panthers over Canberra at GIO Stadium.

Souths pip Titans for 6th-straight NRL win

South Sydney have snuck away with a sixth-straight NRL win in an ugly 18-16 defeat of the Titans on the Gold Coast.

Spiralling Eels seek NRL lift in Top End

Eels head coach BRAD ARTHUR talks to players during a Parramatta Eels NRL training session in Sydney, Australia.

Jarryd Hayne, Tim Mannah and Corey Norman are all set to return from injury for Parramatta's round 14 NRL clash against North Queensland in Darwin.

Bellamy decision set to come after Broncos

Storm head coach CRAIG BELLAMY looks dejected after defeat during the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Wests Tigers at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne aren't expecting Craig Bellamy to announce his future before Sunday when the Storm host Brisbane, the other NRL club chasing the coach.

Holmes to back up for Sharks after Origin

VALENTINE HOLMES of the Sharks is tackled by JARED WAEREA-HARGREAVES of the Roosters during the NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Cronulla Sharks at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Australia.

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan says winger Valentine Holmes will back up for the club on Sunday against the Tigers, after Wednesday's Origin opener.

Injured Tuivasa-Sheck out for Warriors

JAKE TRBOJEVIC of Australia is tackled during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between the Australian Kangaroos and England at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

While Manly welcome back the Trbojevic brothers, the Warriors reveal they'll be without captain Roger Tuivasa-Scheck for their NRL match in Christchurch.

Woods admits he could be moved on

The Sydney Roosters say they have no interest in signing Martin Taupau or Aaron Woods from rival NRL clubs.

Ponga poised for double Origin audition

TRENT ROBINSON looks on during a Sydney Roosters NRL training session at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Sydney Roosters expect to have State of Origin stars Latrell Mitchell, Boyd Cordner, Dylan Napa and James Tedesco back for Saturday's NRL clash with Newcastle.

Inglis best leader in Aussie sport: Johns

GREG INGLIS of the Rabbitohs watches the ball before scoring a try during the NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium in Australia.

The praise for Greg Inglis' debut as Queensland captain in State of Origin hasn't stopped with Matthew Johns calling him the best leader in Australian sport.

Storm's Bellamy hasn't made up mind: Smith

Coach of the Storm CRAIG BELLAMY looks on during a Melbourne Storm Training Session at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne Storm skipper Cameron Smith says coach Craig Bellamy has not made a decision on his future.

Dragon Graham to meet former Dogs mates

JAMES GRAHAM of the Dragons in action during the NRL trial match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium in Mudgee, Australia.

Former Canterbury captain James Graham is set to play his first match against his old club when St George Illawarra visit ANZ Stadium on Monday.

Freddy praises back three for Origin I win

Queensland Maroons coach KEVIN WALTERS (L) and with New South Wales Blues coach BRAD FITTLER speak to media during a State of Origin media opportunity at MCG in Melbourne, Australia.

NSW coach Brad Fittler says Tom Trbojevic, James Tedesco and Josh Addo-Carr were the cornerstones of their State of Origin I win.

Ponga gets early shot at Tedesco in NRL

JAMES TEDESCO of the Blues is tackled by Felipe Kaufusi of the Maroons during the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at the MCG in Melbourne, Australia.

Queensland hopeful Kayln Ponga gets his chance to show up NSW hero James Tedesco when Newcastle meet the Sydney Roosters on Saturday.

Whisperer fires Tedesco to Origin stardom

JAMES TEDESCO during a New South Wales Blues State of Origin Training Session in Kingscliff, Australia.

NSW fullback James Tedesco has revealed how he had beaten self-doubt and second guessing himself to turn on the State of Origin performance of his career.

Graham hopes injury woes are behind him

WADE GRAHAM of the Sharks is tackled during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Cronulla Sharks at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

Cronulla back-rower Wade Graham has been cleared of concussion and will take on the Wests Tigers in their NRL clash.

NSWRL withdraws charges on Eels' Evans

KANE EVANS of the Eels warms up prior to the NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Parramatta Eels at Lottoland in Sydney, Australia.

Parramatta chief executive Bernie Gurr says the NSWRL has withdrawn charges against Kane Evans for an incident last week during a NSW Cup game.

Storm's Chambers cops one-game NRL ban

WILL CHAMBERS of Australia passes the ball during an Australian Kangaroos training session at Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne centre Will Chambers has opted not to contest his dangerous contact charge stemming from State of Origin I.

Cook cleared of Origin sternum injury

DAMIEN COOK of the Rabbitohs in action during the NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canberra Raiders at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Australia.

Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold says Damien Cook pulled up "a bit sore" after his busy State of Origin debut but did not need a scan on his sternum.

Retirement thoughts 'scary' for Mannering

SIMON MANNERING of the Warriors on the charge during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

The thought of ending 14 seasons at the Warriors sends Simon Mannering into shivers. So he's put the retirement decision on hold.

Rookies all deliver for Fittler and NSW

BRAD FITTLER poses during a press conference at the Star announcing his new role as coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team in Sydney, Australia.

Coach Brad Fittler got great returns from his 11 Origin rookies as NSW claimed a crucial 10-point win over Queensland in the State of Origin opener at the MCG.

Panthers stars need new Origin lesson

ANTHONY GRIFFIN, Coach of the Panthers, speaks during a press conference after the NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers at Southern Cross Group Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Penrith stars James Maloney, Nathan Cleary, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Tyrone Peachey are set to back up from Origin for Friday's clash against Canberra.

Mature Maloney eyes Origin's holy grail

JAMES MALONEY of the Sharks runs the ball during the 2016 NRL Grand Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

James Maloney is one win away from his first State of Origin series victory, and his resilience is proving more important than ever.

Morgan a Maroons Origin standout: Holmes

MICHAEL MORGAN of the Cowboys runs the ball during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

Maroons winger Valentine Holmes says Michael Morgan should stay at No.1 if Billy Slater is unavailable for Origin II after filling in with aplomb in Melbourne.

Cavalry set to return for depleted Maroons

BILLY SLATER of Australia breaks away to score a try during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia

Queensland veterans Billy Slater and Matt Scott are poised to return after the Maroons' 22-12 State of Origin series-opening loss in Melbourne.

Referees remain quiet in Origin opener

Coach KEVIN WALTERS calls out instructions to his players during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session at Sanctuary Cove in Brisbane, Australia.

The State of Origin series opener at the MCG had the least penalties of all games played this year after the referees dominated conversation in the lead-up.

Glasby shapes as possible Maroons saviour

Coach KEVIN WALTERS gives directions during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters is considering drafting in Melbourne prop Tim Glasby after the Maroons' State of Origin I loss.

Everything you need to know from Origin I

DANE GAGAI of the Kangaroos runs with the ball during an Australian Kangaroos training session in Melbourne, Australia.

NSW are up 1-0 after a comprehensive display, but the Origin roadshow still has two stops left to decide the series winner and the Blues have blown it before.

Fittler compares Inglis to lunar eclipse

GREG INGLIS of the Rabbitohs watches the ball before scoring a try during the NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium in Australia.

Even in defeat, Greg Inglis won high praise from both coaches in his first match as Queensland captain.

Blues vow to make this one count

NSW are 1-0 up in a State of Origin series for the fourth time in six years, but must learn from past mistakes to ensure they turn it into a second victory.

Injuries not behind Origin loss: Munster

Queensland playmaker Cameron Munster says he is excited about the chance for the Maroons to make amends in Origin II after a rocky lead-in to the series opener.

Qld's Chambers faces match ban

WILL CHAMBERS passes during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session at Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland's Will Chambers faces a one match ban after being hit with a dangerous contact charge in NSW's 22-12 win in the State of Origin opener in Melbourne.

Maloney key as Blues take opening Origin

JAMES MALONEY of the Panthers lines up for a conversion during the NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

The experience and leadership of veteran NSW playmaker James Maloney proved key as NSW took the opening State of Origin win over Queensland at the MCG.

Qld player ratings for State of Origin I

How the NSW players rated in game one of the State of Origin series against Queensland in Melbourne.

Blues pass pressure test in new Origin era

NSW's 11 rookies have looked just as comfortable in State of Origin as they have in the NRL in the Blues' 22-12 game-one win over Queensland in Melbourne.

NSW player ratings from Origin I

How the New South Wales players rated in game one of the State of Origin series against Queensland in Melbourne.

NSW win State of Origin I in Melbourne

NSW have come from behind to score a 22-12 win over Queensland in State of Origin I at the MCG.

State of Origin clock

Counting down the key moments of the opening State of Origin match between NSW and Queensland at the MCG.

Tuivasa-Sheck in doubt for Manly clash

ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK of the Warriors in action during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Sydney Roosters at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Injured skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck looks a doubtful starter for the Warriors when they return from a week off against Manly in Christchurch.

Origin can fire Dragons up in NRL: Widdop

GARETH WIDDOP of the Dragons in action during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at UOW Jubilee Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Three of St George Illawarra's four State of Origin representatives are relatively unexposed to the interstate rivalry.

I would've let Queensland down: Smith

CAMERON SMITH of the Storm kicks during the 2017 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Former Queensland captain Cameron Smith has defended his decision to retire from representative football three weeks before for State of Origin I.

Cowboy Scott at peace with Origin future

MATTHEW SCOTT of the Cowboys looks on during the NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville, Australia.

Whether he's played his last game for Queensland or not, veteran forward Matt Scott says he's happy with what he's achieved in maroon.

Souths eye sixth NRL win over Titans

SAM BURGESS of the Rabbitohs looks to the replay screen during the round one NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors at Optus Stadium in Perth, Australia.

The Rabbitohs won't put any pressure on their State of Origin stars to back up for Friday night's NRL clash with Gold Coast.

Sandor Earl makes second grade comeback

SANDOR EARL of the Raiders off loads the ball during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Canberra Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

After serving a four-year ban and suffering an ACL injury, Sandor Earl has been picked to play in Melbourne Storm's feeder team this Saturday.

Gagai confirmed starter for Maroons

Dane Gagai of the Rabbitohs makes a break during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

Queensland winger Dane Gagai is a confirmed starter for Wednesday's State of Origin opener after being cleared of a finger fracture.

Fusitu'a commits to Tonga over NZ

DAVID FUSITUA of the Warriors charges into Aidan Sezer of the Raiders during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Warriors winger David Fusitu'a pledges his international allegiance to Tonga again rather than his native New Zealand.

Cleary wakes to nerve-wracking MCG test

NATHAN CLEARY of the Panthers makes a run during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Nathan Cleary had never visited the MCG before but within hours it will become his field of dreams for NSW.

Vaughan's ride from reserves to Origin

PAUL VAUGHAN of the Dragons looks to pass during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Manly Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia.

Paul Vaughan will become the 1000th man to pull on a NSW Rugby League jersey on Wednesday night, just two years after he was stuck in reserve grade.

Walters defends handling of Slater injury

BILLY SLATER of Australia breaks away to score a try during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia

Queensland coach Kevin Walters has defended his handling of Billy Slater's hamstring injury with the media ahead of Wednesday's State of Origin opener.

Origin door not closed on Boyd: Walters

DARIUS BOYD of the Broncos passes the ball during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters says the State of Origin door is still open to Darius Boyd after dismissing speculation the veteran brushed the Maroons camp.

Milford backed to fire off Qld bench

ANTHONY MILFORD of the Broncos attempts to break away from the defence during the NRL Semi Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Penrith Panthers at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters has backed last-minute bench addition Anthony Milford to impress in the State of Origin opener in Melbourne.

Turvey's simple message for NSW rookies

NSW State of Origin legend Steve Mortimer has urged this year's record batch of debutants against the pitfalls of relying on their individual brilliance.

Reasons why your side will win Origin I

A look at who will win the State of Origin series opener and why.

Time to move on from Smith era: Walters

Coach KEVIN WALTERS gives directions during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters says it is time the Maroons moved on from the Cameron Smith era ahead of Wednesday's State of Origin opener in Melbourne.

Souths' Jason Clark signs for Warrington

JASON CLARK of the Rabbitohs is tackled during the NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at UOW Jubilee Oval in Sydney, Australia.

South Sydney fan favourite Jason Clark has penned a two-year deal with Warrington in the UK Super League.

Time for talk over as new Origin era dawns

Queensland Maroons coach KEVIN WALTERS (L) and with New South Wales Blues coach BRAD FITTLER speak to media during a State of Origin media opportunity at Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia.

NSW and Queensland both kick off new eras in State of Origin on Wednesday night with 11 Blues debutants and a Maroons team minus three icons.

Dragons move quick to sign Jillaroos trio

Jillaroos trio Kezie Apps, Sam Bremner and Talesha Quinn were unveiled on Tuesday as the first signings to the St George Illawarra women's NRL team.

Qld's luck changes ahead of Origin I

Dane Gagai of the Rabbitohs makes a break during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

Queensland coach Kevin Walters couldn't believe his luck when a visiting fan turned out to be a hand specialist who could treat injured winger Dane Gagai.

Struggling Foran dogged by toe injury

KIERAN FORAN speaks to the media during a New Zealand Warriors NRL media session at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

The troops have returned for Parramatta and the Warriors in round 14, while Canterbury have lost Kieran Foran for up to a month with a toe injury.

Cartwright dropped by Titans

BRYCE CARTWRIGHT of the Titans runs the ball during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and Cronulla Sharks at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan says dropped Bryce Cartwright will now have to wait for his next chance after falling out of the NRL club's best 17.

There's no ultimatum for Bellamy: Storm

Storm head coach CRAIG BELLAMY looks dejected after defeat during the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Wests Tigers at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne boss Dave Donaghy has denied he wants a quick answer from Craig Bellamy over whether he wants to re-sign as Storm coach on a long-term deal.

Blues won't be distracted by Maroons woes

BILLY SLATER looks on during the Australian Kangaroos Rugby League World Cup training session at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Australia.

NSW say they haven't had to change their game plan since Billy Slater withdrew from Queensland's State of Origin side with a hamstring injury.

Tigers on the hunt for early Mbye move

MOSES MBYE of the Bulldogs celebrates scoring the winning try during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Newcastle Knights at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

The Wests Tigers remain in negotiations to lure 2019 signing Moses Mbye from Canterbury ahead of the NRL's mid-season transfer deadline.

Raiders can win NRL title: Boyd

SHANNON BOYD of the Raiders makes a line break during the NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Gold Coast Titans at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Australia.

Gold Coast-bound Canberra forward Shannon Boyd says the four-year deal he signed with the Titans from next season will likely be his last in the NRL.

Blues aim to overcome generation of pain

BOYD CORDNER of the Roosters looks dejected after defeat in the NRL match between the St George Illawara Dragons and Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

NSW players have spent the majority of their childhood watching the Blues lose but they're desperate to turn the State of Origin tide on Wednesday night.

Gagai cleared of fracture ahead of Origin

DANE GAGAI of the Kangaroos runs with the ball during an Australian Kangaroos training session in Melbourne, Australia.

Queensland winger Dane Gagai has been cleared of a finger fracture and is expected to play Wednesday's State of Origin opener in Melbourne.

Fittler backs overseas Origin series

BRAD FITTLER poses during a press conference at the Star announcing his new role as coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team in Sydney, Australia.

As State of Origin returns to the MCG on Wednesday night, Brad Fittler says he'd like to see the contest taken overseas in the future.

Blues thrive in the house Gus built

NATHAN CLEARY of the Panthers makes a run during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Two generations of Penrith NRL stars will help determine NSW's fate on and off the field in Wednesday night's State of Origin series opener.

Fittler considers sideline vantage point

Nathan Peats speaks to City coach BRAD FITTLER during a City NSW Origin training session at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Brad Fittler will consider moving to his regular position of on the sideline for his first game as NSW State of Origin coach.

Blues seek Origin rookie advantage

Former NSW centre Ryan Girdler debuted as part of a pack of Blues rookies in 1999 and says there's an advantage to having so many Origin debutants together.

Ex-NSW rake Ennis defends Boyd's Qld snub

DARIUS BOYD of the Broncos is tackled during the NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Brisbane Broncos at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Ex-NSW rake Michael Ennis has defended Queensland's Darius Boyd after the fullback knocked back a chance to be on Maroons standby to go on a family holiday.

Match-ups to decide Origin opener

A number of crucial battles across the park could determine the fate of the State of Origin series opener in Melbourne.

Inglis the man for new Qld era: Walters

Coach KEVIN WALTERS gives directions during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters says he "wouldn't want anyone else in charge" as Greg Inglis prepares to lead a depleted Maroons into a new State of Origin era.

Hatred not an Origin motivation: Walters

Coach KEVIN WALTERS calls out instructions to his players during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session at Sanctuary Cove in Brisbane, Australia.

It may be "mate against mate" once again in State of Origin but Queensland coach Kevin Walters reckons hatred is no longer a motivation in the series.

Injured Slater may have played last Origin

BILLY SLATER of Australia breaks away to score a try during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia

Billy Slater didn't want to contemplate it but he may have played his last game for Queensland after his withdrawal from Wednesday's State of Origin opener.

Blues tear up plans after Slater pulls pin

MICHAEL MORGAN of the Cowboys runs the ball during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

NSW Origin advisor Greg Alexander is tipping Queensland to call on Michael Morgan to fill the void at fullback after Billy Slater's sudden withdrawal.

Blues aim to join Origin's rookie winners

Questions have been asked of NSW's experience for the State of Origin series opener, but past results show rookies can thrive.

Panthers' Wallace yet to decide NRL future

PETER WALLACE of the Panthers watches on during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Penrith captain Peter Wallace is the only member of the Panthers' first-choice 17 without a deal for next NRL season, and he's happy to see how it plays out.

The NSW halves combinations since 2006

A look at the NSW halves combinations used during State of Origin since 2006.

Munster asked to repeat Origin heroics

CAMERON MUNSTER of the Storm runs with the ball during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters believes pivot Cameron Munster can backup his man of the match Maroons debut in Wednesday's State of Origin opener.

Cleary made great like JT, Cronk: Cordner

NATHAN CLEARY of the Panthers kicks during the NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Pepper Stadium Sydney, Australia.

Boyd Cordner has compared debutant Nathan Cleary to State of Origin stars Cooper Cronk, Johnathan Thurston and Mitchell Pearce.

Cook seeks Farah's NSW Origin wisdom

ROBBIE FARAH passes during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Former NSW captain Robbie Farah is prepared to give South Sydney teammate Damien Cook some more words of wisdom ahead of his Origin debut.

Eels' Moeroa cops three-game NRL ban

TEPAI MOEROA of the Eels runs the ball during the NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels at Panthers Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Parramatta forward Tepai Moeroa has taken an early guilty plea for his shoulder charge and been suspended for three NRL matches.

Raiders get Braddon centre of excellence

The ACT government will contribute $5 million and the NSW government $4 million to the Canberra Raiders' new $19 million NRL facility.

No second prize in Origin for Fittler

Nathan Peats speaks to City coach BRAD FITTLER during a City NSW Origin training session at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Brad Fittler can't promise his record 11 NSW debutants won't be overawed by State of Origin football against Queensland on Wednesday night.

Penalty toll up to players: Origin coaches

BRAD FITTLER poses during a press conference at the Star announcing his new role as coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team in Sydney, Australia.

Coaches Brad Fittler and Kevin Walters say the onus is on their players not to give away penalties in Wednesday night's State of Origin opener.

Slater ruled out of State of Origin I

BILLY SLATER of Australia breaks away to score a try during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia

Queensland veteran Billy Slater has been ruled out of Wednesday's State of Origin opener with a hamstring complaint.

Roosters' Keary leaves Fittler hanging

LUKE KEARY of the Roosters takes the ball during the NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Brisbane Broncos at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Sydney Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary has missed two calls from NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler but hasn't rung him back.

Qld's Morgan ready to regain mojo

MICHAEL MORGAN of the Cowboys runs the ball during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

Out of sorts Queensland utility Michael Morgan is determined to regain his mojo in Wednesday's State of Origin opener in Melbourne

Rookie Maroon pack to emulate greats: Hess

CAMERON SMITH of the Storm charges forward during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Melbourne Storm at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Back-rower Coen Hess says Queensland's forwards may be inexperienced but they know exactly what to do in the State of Origin opener thanks to past greats.

Roosters' form hurt Origin hopes: Robinson

Roosters coach TRENT ROBINSON watches on during the Sydney Roosters NRL training session at Kippax Lake in Sydney, Australia.

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson admits some of his players couldn't demand selection for Origin following the club's patchy start to the NRL season.

Blues turn focus to oval grounds for MCG

BRAD FITTLER poses during a press conference at the Star announcing his new role as coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team in Sydney, Australia.

NSW coach Brad Fittler is making the most of training on oval grounds before the Blues run out on the massive MCG in Wednesday night's State of Origin opener.

Sliding-door moment that made Peachey Blue

TYRONE PEACHEY of the Panthers is tackled during the NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Canberra Raiders at Carrington Park in Bathurst, Australia.

Tyrone Peachey admits he often thinks about the knee injury Nathan Cleary suffered earlier this year and ponders if he'd be a Blue if his teammate wasn't hurt.

Snapshot of round 13 of the NRL

What happened in round 13 of the NRL.

Fergo disappointed by Origin snubbing

BLAKE FERGUSON of the Roosters in action during the round seven NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Sydney Roosters at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Sydney Roosters winger Blake Ferguson says he's disappointed at not receiving a phone call to tell him he'd been dropped by NSW.

Misfiring Eels promise forensic review

Parramatta CEO Bernie Gurr has promised a top-to-bottom review of the club in the wake of their disastrous start to the NRL season.

Roosters hold off fast-finishing Tigers

BLAKE FERGUSON of the Roosters in action during the round seven NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Sydney Roosters at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Blake Ferguson had a mixed game but delivered late as the Sydney Roosters claimed a thrilling 16-14 NRL win over the Wests Tigers.

Stats show Fittler's middle will deliver

Nathan Peats speaks to City coach BRAD FITTLER during a City NSW Origin training session at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, Australia.

NSW have arrived in Melbourne ready for battle and Brad Fittler has turned to a forward pack picked on toughness and form to lead the way in State of Origin.

Ivan saw son Cleary come of age for Origin

NATHAN CLEARY of the Panthers makes a run during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

Nathan Cleary will on Wednesday night cap off a remarkable return from injury to State of Origin, and his father Ivan was convinced two weeks ago he was ready.

NSW should fear Qld's Munster: Johns

BEN HUNT passes the ball during a Brisbane Broncos NRL training session in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland halfback Ben Hunt has dismissed injury fears but NSW great Andrew Johns says the Blues should fear Cameron Munster in the State of Origin opener.

Blues want whistles put away in Origin

TODD GREENBERG, Chief Executive Officer of the National Rugby League looks on after the NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Senior NSW players want Wednesday's Origin refereed in typical fashion - and not veer towards the whistle happy officiating seen in the NRL this season.

Cayless named Kiwis assistant coach

Rabbitohs coach MICHAEL MAGUIRE watches on during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Michael Maguire has confirmed Nathan Cayless and Ben Gardiner as his assistant coaches of the New Zealand rugby league team.

Prop Saifiti grateful for Knights backing

Newcastle Knights coach NATHAN BROWN during a Newcastle Knights NRL pre-season training session at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle, Australia.

Newcastle prop Daniel Saifiti has credited some tough love from his teammates with turning his NRL season around.

Eels' Moses out for up to three weeks

CLINT GUTHERSON of the Eels makes a break during the NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Parramatta will be without halfback Mitchell Moses for two to three weeks because of bone bruising in his knee suffered in Saturday's NRL loss to Newcastle.

Addo-Carr hopes to turn MCG blue

JOSH ADDO-CARR of the Storm scores a try during the 2017 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

He's outnumbered four-to-one but Josh Addo-Carr hopes his inclusion in NSW will give locals at the MCG a reason to support the Blues in State of Origin.

McCullough 'perfect' replacement for Smith

ANDREW MCCULLOUGH of the Broncos kicks the ball during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Queensland say Andrew McCullough has emerged as a "perfect" hooker replacement for ex-skipper Cameron Smith ahead of the State of Origin opener in Melbourne.

Cooper to step up as new-look Qld's mentor

GAVIN COOPER of the Cowboys is tackled during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

He has played just three games for Queensland but back-rower Gavin Cooper will take on a leadership role for a new-look Maroons in the State of Origin opener.

Moses injured in Eels' horror Knights loss

Halfback Mitchell Moses has suffered a knee injury in Parramatta's 30-4 NRL loss to Newcastle.

Eel Evans reported for alleged racial slur

Parramatta's Kane Evans has been put on report during a NSW Cup rugby league match after a Warriors allegation of racial abuse.

Farah almost walked from final NRL year

ROBBIE FARAH passes during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval in Sydney, Australia.

South Sydney veteran Robbie Farah considered walking away from the final year of his contract after losing the battle for the starting hooker role this season.

I can be Qld bench X-factor again: Hess

He may not have been confident of receiving coach Kevin Walters' call but Coen Hess is now convinced he can again be Queensland's bench X-factor.

Tigers eye adding more NRL marquee talent

MOSES MBYE of the Bulldogs celebrates scoring the winning try during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Newcastle Knights at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney, Australia.

The signing of Moses Mbye shapes as a watershed moment for the Wests Tigers and their ability to draw the NRL's top stars.

Cook shapes as key to unlock Blues' pace

DAMIEN COOK of the Rabbitohs in action during the NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canberra Raiders at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Australia.

NSW's speed out wide has fans on the edge of their seats heading into State of Origin, but it could be the threat of zippy hooker Damien Cook that unlocks it.

Pressure won't stop decade's youngest half

Blues coach LAURIE DALEY looks on during the New South Wales Blues Team Announcement at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Nathan Cleary is set to become the youngest State of Origin half since Mitchell Pearce in 2008, but his story already looks different.

The deciding factors in State of Origin I

A look at the facts and figures ahead of State of Origin I in Melbourne.

Wallace vows to stand up to NSW pack

JARROD WALLACE of the Titans looks dejected during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Almost 20 years after Shane Webcke first inspired him, Queensland prop Jarrod Wallace is ready to channel the Maroons great in the State of Origin opener.

Reggie sees Klemmer's nightmare impact

DAVID KLEMMER of the Bulldogs is tackled during the NRL match between the Bulldogs and the Panthers at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

David Klemmer is known as a mad man at times on the field but NSW roommate Reagan Campbell-Gillard has seen he can be just as angry in his sleep.

Boom prop Haas out for NRL season

ALEX GLENN of the Broncos takes on the defence during the NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Brisbane's forward stocks have taken another hit after boom prop Payne Haas underwent shoulder surgery that has ended his 2018 NRL season.

Qld's Hunt 'definitely playing' Origin I

BEN HUNT of the Broncos runs with the ball during a NRL match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia

Queensland No.7 Ben Hunt has boldly declared he will overcome a thigh injury and "definitely" play the State of Origin opener in Melbourne.

Qld No.6 Munster "like JT": Cooper

GAVIN COOPER of the Cowboys is tackled during the NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Gavin Cooper has hailed Cameron Munster as Johnathan Thurston's replacement at Queensland No.6, saying he is "like JT" ahead of the State of Origin opener.

Flanagan frustrated by Sharks' injury run

Coach SHANE FLANAGAN talks to his players during a Cronulla Sharks NRL training session at Remondis Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Just as they were getting healthy, Cronulla will be without Josh Dugan for up to four weeks after scans confirmed he has suffered a lower leg injury.

Rabbitohs are the real NRL deal: Johns

ADAM REYNOLDS of the Rabbitohs runs the ball during the NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors at Optus Stadium in Perth, Australia.

South Sydney's league-high five-game winning streak is the NRL club's longest since their breakthrough premiership in 2014.

Frizell thriving in rugby league Origins

Tyson Frizell could have followed a 15-man path like his brother, but is instead a leader in the NSW State of Origin camp.

Red-hot Rabbitohs end Sharks' NRL run

JOSH DUGAN of Australia passes as he is tackled by JARRTD HAYNE of Fiji during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match between the Australian Kangaroos and Fiji at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

South Sydney consolidated third spot on the NRL table with a comprehensive 22-14 win over Cronulla at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.

Eels delay call on injured Scott's future

BEAU SCOTT catches a football during a Parramatta Eels NRL training session at the Old Saleyards Reserve in Sydney, Australia.

Parramatta say they will wait until Beau Scott is well into his rehabilitation from knee surgery before making a decision on his NRL future.

Eels set to welcome back Hayne from injury

JARRYD HAYNE takes part in a Parramatta Eels NRL pre-season training session at Old Saleyards Reserve in Sydney, Australia.

Parramatta are hoping to welcome back Jarryd Hayne from a hip flexor when the Eels play North Queensland.

Blues rookie with intent to kill Maroons

REAGAN CAMPBELL-GILLARD of Australia pushes away AKUILA UATE of Fiji as he is tackled during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final match between the Australian Kangaroos and Fiji at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

NSW rookie Reagan Campbell-Gillard will complete a stunning rise as one of the best young props in the game when he makes his Origin debut.

Fittler's ways work their magic on NSW

BRAD FITTLER poses during a press conference at the Star announcing his new role as coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team in Sydney, Australia.

Brad Fittler's new-age thinking has had an immediate impact on NSW State of Origin camp with family lunches, salsa dancing and barefoot breathing.

Qld ready for last laugh over NSW: Wallace

BEN HUNT of the Broncos runs with the ball during a NRL match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia

Queensland prop Jarrod Wallace has predicted an explosive start to next week's State of Origin opener, taking aim at a sledging NSW.

Blues brush defence fears over the border

GREG INGLIS catches a pass during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

All the attention has been on the NSW back five's defence ahead of the State of Origin series opener but stats show Queensland have bigger concerns.

Hunt confident of stepping up in Qld No.7

BEN HUNT of the Broncos runs with the ball during a NRL match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia

Ex-Brisbane No.7 Ben Hunt says he now has the confidence to step up as Queensland halfback after a lucrative NRL move to St George Illawarra paid off.

Taumalolo still weighing up NZ or Tonga

JASON TAUMALOLO of the Cowboys is tackled during a NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

North Queensland star Jason Taumalolo has yet to make a decision on whether to stick with Tonga for this month's Pacific Test or switch back to New Zealand.

Eels rubbish Norman rumours

COREY NORMAN of the Eels in action during the NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has hosed down rumours Corey Norman is on the outer with the NRL club.

New age Fittler's new era starts now

Nathan Peats speaks to City coach BRAD FITTLER during a City NSW Origin training session at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, Australia.

Both NSW and Queensland have undergone major changes in their teams ahead of this year's State of Origin series opener in Melbourne.

Trbojevics warn they may not link for NSW

JAKE TRBOJEVIC of Australia is tackled during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between the Australian Kangaroos and England at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Jake and Tom Trbojevic's middle-of-the-field combination will take a back seat for NSW, after the brothers admitted they were unlikely to find each other.

Halves fume over 'dog shot' on Thurston

JOHNATHAN THURSTON of the Maroons runs the ball during the State Of Origin series at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

James Maloney and Andrew Johns have come to the support of Johnathan Thurston after he was laid out by a late shot for the second week in a row.

Sea Eagles will be embarrassed: Barrett

Sea Eagles coach TRENT BARRETT during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Manly Sea Eagles at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

Manly pair Jack Gosiewski and Shaun Lane were sent to hospital for precautionary reasons after getting injured in their NRL defeat to North Queensland.

Holmes nervous filling Boyd's Qld boots

VALENTINE HOLMES of the Kangaroos is tackled during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Final between the Australian Kangaroos and England at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Valentine Holmes admits he has mixed emotions after breaking up Queensland's greatest left edge attacking combination.

Peachey hints at NSW Origin roving licence

TYRONE PEACHEY of the Panthers offloads the ball during the NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Gold Coast Titans in Penrith, Australia.

NSW utility Tyrone Peachey has hinted he's set to play a roving role when he makes his State of Origin debut on Wednesday.