NRL Semi Final - Roosters v Raiders
NRL Semi Final - Roosters v Raiders

Tedesco injury clouds NSW Origin push

He always likes being the centre of attention on a footy field.

Now Blues adviser Greg Alexander has revealed why NSW is considering naming Parramatta fullback Clint Gutherson at right centre for State of Origin I in Adelaide.

With Manly's Tom Trbojevic unavailable through injury, Alexander and NSW coach Brad Fittler are contemplating a surprise shift for Gutherson or opting for St George Illawarra's Zac Lomax.

 

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Gutherson, 26, will also be discussed as a possible fullback should regular NSW number one James Tedesco succumb to a leg injury.

The Eels skipper enjoyed a blistering six minute period against Souths on Saturday night where he scored two tries and initiated a third, despite his side's 38-24 loss.

And Gutherson's performance on Saturday was in front of Fittler - commentating for Channel 9 - and Alexander, calling for Fox Sports.

Melbourne's Ryan Papenhuyzen is another strong candidate for the fullback spot should Tedesco withdraw.

 

 

 

James Tedesco picked up a leg injury on the weekend.
James Tedesco picked up a leg injury on the weekend.

 

James Tedesco after a rare mistake which lead to a Jack Wighton try. Picture: Brett Costello
James Tedesco after a rare mistake which lead to a Jack Wighton try. Picture: Brett Costello

 

The Roosters fullback injured a knee during Friday night's loss to Canberra but finished the game, giving NSW officials confidence he would be fit for the three-game interstate series.

Gutherson has already experienced a morsel of Origin when elevated to 18th man to cover for Trbojevic last year.

"We know 'Gutho' can play fullback but at the moment we are considering him as a right centre," Alexander said.

"He was cover for Tom last year because Tom had come in off the back of a hamstring injury for game two. We always thought 'Gutho' could do a job for us at right centre.

"It doesn't mean he will start there but we're looking at 'Gutho' as a centre/utility."

 

 

Clint Gutherson can play any position in the backline. Picture: Brett Costello
Clint Gutherson can play any position in the backline. Picture: Brett Costello

 

Reminded Gutherson was actually in line for two different spots, centre and fullback, Alexander said: "That's right, exactly, he has played everywhere. He would bring energy, he's never far from the ball and his effort areas are fantastic. And he would bring good form too.

"That five minute period on Saturday night where he scored two tries and set up another - that was as good a five minute period that anyone has had in the game this year."

Gutherson ran for 201 metres against the victorious Rabbitohs.

Parramatta had four players named in the extended NSW squad - Gutherson, Junior Paulo, Nathan Brown and Reagan Campbell-Gillard. Paulo's power, offload and footwork has placed him among the NRL's elite front-rowers.

Eels winger Blake Ferguson wasn't named but could be recalled should he be medically cleared from a knee injury. Parramatta halfback Mitch Moses missed selection.

Meanwhile the Roosters had five players named - Tedesco, Boyd Cordner, Luke Keary, Angus Crichton and Daniel Tupou. Despite four concussion related injuries this season, Cordner is ready to lead his state once again.

"No concerns over Boyd - he just needs a breather, like a lot of those Roosters boys, they need a bit of a spell and they will get a couple of weeks now," Alexander said.

 

NEW ADDITIONS:

Roosters: Boyd Cordner, Luke Keary, James Tedesco, Angus Crichton and Daniel Tupou.

Eels: Clint Gutherson, Junior Paulo, Nathan Brown, and Reagan Campbell-Gillard (winger Blake Ferguson needs a medical clearance before he is considered).

 

 

NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler (left) isn’t afraid to make tough calls.
NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler (left) isn’t afraid to make tough calls.

 

 

FULL SQUAD:

Nathan Brown (Parramatta Eels)

Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Parramatta Eels)

Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters)

Angus Crichton (Sydney Roosters)

Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Clint Gutherson (Parramatta Eels)

Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos)

Luke Keary (Sydney Roosters)

Zac Lomax (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Cameron McInnes (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eels)

Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)

James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)

Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)

Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters)

 

 

 

Originally published as Tedesco injury clouds NSW Origin push



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