Origin III Preview
Dyldam Parramatta Eels co-captain Jarryd Hayne will be looking to help the VB NSW Blues secure the clean sweep tonight as Origin III kicks off at Suncorp Stadium.
With the Origin shield already sealed and ready to head back with the Blues regardless of tonight's result, bragging rights are still up for grabs.
The lead-up to Game Two was phenomenal in terms of media coverage with the series already decided, the atmosphere has been a little more subdued for the Origin stars, their coaches and the camps in the build up to the series conclusion.
If history is anything to go by the Maroons will be victorious, with a 53% record when facing a NSW team already leading the series 2-0, plus their home ground advantage.
Back in 2003 New South Wales had already won the series but suffered a 36-6 loss at the hand of the Queenslanders, and footy fans are hoping that this “dead rubber” will also be anything but lifeless.
The Blues have been forced to make three changes to their winning line-up with Hopoate, Watmough and Jennings all unable to back-up from Origin II, opening the door for James McManus, Boyd Cordner and Josh Morris.
Queensland will welcome back Cooper Cronk in the halves, sending Cherry-Evans to the bench, with Will Chambers filling the vacant spot on the wing left by Brent Tate and Jacob Lillyman replacing Matt Scott.
Hayne has been a force in the sky blue jersey and notably led the attacking charge when NSW came from behind in both matches – though the Eels fullback has been just as good at preventing tries as setting them up.
Eels centre Will Hopoate has been ruled out of the Blues line-up after a shoulder injury obtained in Game Two has kept the 22-year-old on the sidelines.
With the Maroons looking to finish the series with a solid performance, a clean sweep for the Blues would make the lifting of the shield in enemy territory that much sweeter.
Origin kicks off at 8.15pm at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, broadcast live on Channel 9.