High praise for ‘selfless’ Origin beginner

Jacob Saifiti as New South Wales training.

Jacob Saifiti will debut for New South Wales next week, and those around the traps have no doubt that he’s made for the toughness of the arena.

“He’s a big body; he plays it tough; he does the effort areas very well in a game,” NSW assistant coach Paul McGregor said on the NSWRL website.

“He works hard off the footy – puts pressure on the ball player, defends well, carries strong and does the simple things really well.”

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Saifiti was drafted into the team after Jordan McLean was forced to withdraw with an injury, McGregor saying the Newcastle enforcer was perfect for the Origin environment.

“That’s what you need – people who are selfless in this arena. You need people who will do things for others before themselves,” he said.

“And that’s what Saifiti is. He’s a man who will do whatever it takes for a teammate.

“If you have 17 people doing that it’s a win-win.”

2022 SERIES FIXTURE

Origin I: Wednesday, June 8, Accor Stadium, Sydney | Queensland 16d NSW 10

Origin II: Sunday, June 26 | NSW 44 d Queensland 12

Origin III: Wednesday, July 13, kick off time 8.10pm AEST, at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

GAME THREE TICKETS

Tickets for game three have been completely sold out, with the NRL announcing the news on June 29.

HOW TO WATCH

Game three and the entire series will be live and exclusive on Nine.

Coverage for game three will start at 7pm (AEST) and wrap up with a post-game show until 11pm. You can also stream the match free on 9Now.

You can also follow the action with Wide World of Sports’ match center as well as the live blog, featuring expert opinions and live reactions from Nine’s rugby league commentators.

TEAMS FOR ORIGIN III

Maroons: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Selwyn Cobbo 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Dane Gagai 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) 8. Lindsay Collins 9. Ben Hunt 10. Josh Papalii 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 14. Harry Grant 15. Jai Arrow 16. Pat Carrigan 17. Tom Gilbert (18th man: Thomas Flegler)

Blues: 1. James Tedesco (c) 2. Brian To’o 3. Matt Burton 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Daniel Tupou 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Api Koroisau 10. Jake Trbojevic 11. Cameron Murray 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Damien Cook 15. Angus Crichton 16. Junior Paulo 17. Siosifa Talakai (18th man: Jack Wighton)

READ MORE: Queensland Maroons team list

READ MORE: NSW Blues team list

ORIGIN III MATCH OFFICIALS

Ashley Klein has retained his post as referee after officiating games one and two.

The two touch judges are Phil Henderson and Drew Oultram, the standby referee is Adam Gee – replacing Gerard Sutton – and the standby touch judge is Michael Wise.

The official video review is Grant Atkins.

ODDS (courtesy of Sportsbet)

Origin III: Blues $1.65; Maroons $2.25

“It is one of the toughest road trips to make and get the win but after such a dominant showing punters aren’t afraid to back the Blues at what will be a very hostile Suncorp Stadium,” said Sportsbet’s Sean Ormerod.

“Queensland have got plenty of work to do to rectify their performance but at a packed stadium they will hold no fears.”

2021 STATE OF ORIGIN RESULTS

Origin I: NSW 50d QLD 6

Origin II: NSW 26d QLD 0

Origin III: QLD 20 d NSW 18

Series result: NSW 2-1

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