Blues plan to take leaf out of Maroons’ book
DESPERATE New South Wales hooker Robbie Farah has undergone surgery on his broken hand in a long-shot bid to play in next Wednesday night's State of Origin decider in Brisbane.
Blues coach Laurie Daley though is likely to exploit the controversial "TBA" loophole Queensland employed in 2002 with Lote Tuqiri to get his preferred back-up into the line-up.
With Farah almost certain to be sidelined, Cronulla's Michael Ennis looms as the obvious replacement. The problem is he faces a one-week suspension unless he can beat a careless high tackle at the judiciary tonight.
The Blues name Farah in their side and the Sharks name Ennis for Sunday's NRL game against the Sea Eagles. If Ennis beats the charge, he gets called into the NSW Origin camp, and if he doesn't, he sits out Sunday's game and then joins the Blues immediately afterwards.
Queenslanders might call "foul" but that would be the same strategy the Maroons' brains trust used in 2002 when they put "TBA" on their team sheet for one of the wingers.
The Broncos named Tuqiri in their side for the weekend's game but the Fijian sat out the match to serve a one-game ban and then played Origin the following Wednesday.
NSW skipper Paul Gallen said Queensland would no doubt kick up a stink if Ennis used the loophole to get into the Origin side.
"I'm sure they'll whinge and moan, (but) they've obviously got very short memories about the TBA," he said after the Blues side was named.
Daley named an unchanged line-up for the decider from the side that beat Queensland 26-18 in Origin II at the MCG.