Fittler tipping Maroons team change
NSW coach Brad Fittler expects Queensland to change their starting line-up for State of Origin III, predicting Tim Glasby or Jarrod Wallace will be promoted from the bench.
The Maroons have a new front-row pairing following defeats in the opening two games of the series, with Jai Arrow and Josh Papalii named in the starting 13 for the Suncorp Stadium clash on Wednesday.
The changes follow a knee injury to first-choice prop Dylan Napa, while Wallace, who has been heavily criticised for his series so far, was demoted to the bench.
However, Fittler believes counterpart Kevin Walters will tinker with his line-up before kick-off.
"I think Glasby or Wallace will find their way into the starting side," Fittler said on Sunday.
Fittler admitted surprise that the Maroons overlooked Brisbane star Anthony Milford for the bench utility spot vacated by injured rookie Kalyn Ponga. Milford was on the bench for game one but played sparingly.
However the Maroons instead dropped Ben Hunt from halfback to the bench and handed his No.7 jumper to Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans as they attempt to avoid series clean sweep by NSW.
"I was surprised Milford didn't make it. When Milford came on in the first game he made me really nervous," Fittler said.
Former NSW captain Paul Gallen is adamant the Blues have an advantage in the size and form of their big men.
He pointed to the fact that Josh McGuire and Felise Kaufusi are the only Maroons forwards representing NRL teams currently inside the top eight.
"It definitely is a small pack," Gallen said of the Maroons.
"Jai Arrow's not the biggest front-rower, Josh Papalii normally plays on the edge and he's playing in a team that's also not in the top eight. Jai Arrow's in a team coming fourth or fifth last.
"I look at the form of the players. I just don't think the form of their forwards is anywhere near as good as the form of the NSW forwards."