NSW Coach Laurie Daley has been very coy about the prospect of Michael Ennis coming into the Blues team to replace Robbie Farah despite being repeatedly asked the question in the lead up to tonight’s match.
Speculation has been rife since Ennis was added to the squad due to a broken hand suffered by incumbent Robbie Farah, but so far nothing definite has come out of the NSW camp as to who will start the Origin decider in the Blues hooking role.
In outstanding form of late for the Sharks, Ennis has been embroiled in controversy after joining the Blues in Coffs Harbour, then Brisbane, despite being suspended for his Club last weekend. However in exploiting a loophole in the Origin series rules Ennis is eligible for tonight’s game should he get the call up from Daley.
The strong rumour is he will play what would be his eighth game for NSW and first since 2011, but fans will have to likely wait until an hour before the start of the game to have Ennis’s position confirmed.
Former NSW hooker and Balmain great Ben Elias was one ex-Blue confident Ennis would be up for the challenge should he get the nod.
"This is like a world title fight for Mickey," Elias told APN.
"It's one-all going to the Colosseum (Suncorp Stadium) under enormous pressure as the No.9. Its set up for a fairy tale finish and Michael can write the last page in this story. This is his moment.
"He's like a kid in a candy shop. He hasn't played State of Origin for a long time and now he gets another chance and he'll treat it like one of the greatest opportunities of his life.
"Mick would be a great replacement for Robbie and I'd be confident in saying he will be one of the best three players on the field because of the faith Laurie has shown in him."
The other Shark set to take part in the match also needs no introduction, with NSW and Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen certain to have a significant influence on the result.
Sidelined since Origin Game 2 with a rib cartilage injury, in racing parlance Gallen may be short of a gallop after missing almost a month of football, however his desire and drive to win will be a major factor for NSW.
Game 3 of Origin, to be played in front of a sell-out crowd at Suncorp and predicted record television ratings, is scheduled to get underway at just after 8.00pm (AEST).