Brad Fittler explained himself as angry fans demanded answers to an Origin shock before dropping another pick bomb.
NSW manager Brad Fittler explained Josh Addo-Carr’s shock refusal from his team for Origin I as stunned fans wondered why the popular winger had been overlooked, before dropping another surprise Selection.
Everyone expected Panthers star Stephen Crichton to make his center debut, but Fittler confirmed to reporters on Monday that Jack Wighton would play at center left, with Kotoni Staggs to take his place on the right edge .
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Wighton plays five eighths for Canberra, but his versatility is such that he can play anywhere from the backline and even fill in as a lock if needed.
Crichton will be on the bench for the series opener in Sydney next week while Nicho Hynes has been named as the 18th man.
The Blues needed a new center this year due to injuries to Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic.
Meanwhile, Addo-Carr has been a mainstay of successful Blues teams under Fittler but has appeared to pay the price for the Bulldogs’ horror season which sees them entrenched at the bottom of the ladder.
After leaving Melbourne late last year, Addo-Carr arrived at Canterbury but did not enjoy the same attacking opportunities as with the Storm as the Dogs struggled throughout the Premier League season. ‘hell.
Towering Roosters winger Daniel Tupou will be on one wing for NSW while Penrith’s Brian To’o will fill the other spot.
“It was difficult and I understand that it caused a sensation. It was more a case of Tupou playing his way and how safe he was,” Fittler said. SEN Breakfast with Vossy and Brandy Monday morning.
“I feel like right now…I don’t think it would be good for Foxx (Addo-Carr) or the team to go into Game 1.
“We have communicated and he is committed to returning to the team.
“My line with him was, he belongs here, it was tough.”
Fittler’s adviser Greg Alexander said SEN 1170 Addo-Carr was “out of shape” and suggested Tupou was favored because of his extra size, to help against bombs aimed at the Maroons Xavier’s likely big wingers Coates and Selwyn Cobbo.
“I know you pick players and a lot of players have still been picked when they’re not fit or great, but they’ve already done the job,” Alexander said.
“Having in mind what Queensland will choose, we just decided that we were going with Daniel Tupou on the wing instead of Josh Addo-Carr.
“Daniel Tupou has also been in great form, he’s been there before too, he did a great job in 2020, I thought he was one of our best players in 2020.
“He’s a great carrier in his own side, he’s tall, he’s a target for our kicks and he can defend their kicks too.
“While you want to pick and stay over time and stay with those who have done the job, I think there are positions, specialist positions, where you have to consider what the other team is giving you. will throw.”
Fox League commentator Andrew Voss was among many puzzled by the call to drop Addo-Carr, who has scored 10 tries in 12 Origin appearances.
“Think Josh Addo-Carr must have gotten a new cellphone and email address when he joined @NRL_Bulldogs,” Voss tweeted. “NSW selectors were obviously unable to contact him.
” For memory. Josh Addo-Carr in Origin. 3 series win out of 4. 10 tries in 12 games. Only 2 players in history have scored more tries for the Blues. Member of the defending champions. I find that really weird.
Adam Houda tweeted: “Wish the @NSWBlues would show loyalty for a change. Jake Trbojevic and Josh Addo-Carr don’t deserve to be fired. They’ve never let us down in the past.
The telegraph of the day journalist Jamie Pandaram wrote: “Josh Addo-Carr misses the cut. Incredible for a player who has done the job in the blue jersey and who now plays in a bad club team. Didn’t lose pace or the ability to make a winning run from his own half.
Rugby league writer Nick Campton added: “It’s always been weird who gets the benefits of starting and past performance in Origin and who doesn’t, but I’m totally amazed that anyone can to think Addo-Carr hasn’t earned a start based on what he’s done for New South Wales in the past His record speaks for itself.
“After 12 games Josh Addo-Carr has 10 tries, he’s one step away from equaling Michael O’Connor and Jarryd Hayne for the Blues goalscoring record, what are we doing here.”
Back rower Jake Trbojevic was the other surprise omission from Team NSW, who face Queensland in Sydney on Wednesday June 8.
Like Addo-Carr, Trbojevic has been a regular in Fittler’s squads since taking over as manager, but has paid the price for indifferent form in Manly’s hot and cold season to date, which left the Sea Eagles in 11th place after 12 rounds.
Tariq Sims was retained as a backbench option, with Alexander telling SEN the selectors ‘couldn’t top what he did for the NSW Blues last year’.
NSW Blues team for State of Origin Game 1
— Captain: James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters
— Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Parramatta Eels)
— Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)
— Damian Cook (South Sydney Rabbits)
— Stephen Crichton (Penrith Panthers)
— Tyson Frizell (Newcastle Knights)
— Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos)
—Nicho Hynes (Cronulla sharks)
— Api Koroisau (Penrith Panthers)
— Jerome Luai (Penrith Panthers)
— Liam Martin (Penrith Panthers)
— Ryan Matterson (Parramatta Eels)
— Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbits)
— Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eels)
— Jacob Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)
— Tariq Sims (Dragons of St George Illawarra)
— Kotoni Staggs (Brisbane Broncos)
— Joseph Suali (Sydney Roosters)
— Brian To’o (Penrith Panthers)
– Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters)
—Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders)
— Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers)
Originally published as Brad Fittler explains shock NSW Origin snub, confirms surprise selection