January 31, 2023

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Saifiti expected to start for Blues

Jacob Saifiti

Fiji Bati prop Jacob Saifiti is expected to start for the New South Wales Blues in the State of Origin decider next Wednesday.

Saifiti will join the 17-man team in place of Jordan McLean who has been ruled out after picking up a hamstring injury on Thursday.

The Knights prop was named among the reserves earlier in the week.

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Sharks skipper Dale Finucane was added to the extended squad yesterday while Nicho Hynes who was originally named as the 19th man but has since tested positive for COVID and will remain in isolation for the game.

Meanwhile, the Queensland Rugby League has confirmed both Cameron Munster and Murray Taulagi have COVID-19 and will miss Wednesday’s Origin decider.

The pair had earlier returned positive Rapid Antigen Tests on Friday and been isolated from the rest of the squad.

Broncos Winger Corey Oates and Cowboys playmaker Tom Dearden will both come into the Maroons 17, with the final line-up still to be confirmed.

Kalyn Ponga had passed all return to play protocols and would take his place at fullback.
Cowboys teenager Jeremiah Nanai is set to make his start in Origin as he replaces Felise Kaufusi with club teammate

Tom Gilbert coming on to the bench for his debut.

See also  Saifiti out due to COVID