While his omission from the original squad might have surprised some, it should come as not shock at all that Jack Bird has been brought in as the Development Player to replace the injured Bryce Cartwright for NSW.
Bird, who has been outstanding playing in the centres for the Sharks through the first 11 rounds of the 2016 season, has been added to the 19-man squad join the team in their training camp in Coffs Harbour.
Recently having turned 21, Bird’s strong running and dependable defence had many good judges predicting he could be named in the 17-man NSW team, however Laurie Daley and his selection panel have preferred Dylan Walker as the utility option on the Blues bench.
Josh Dugan and Michael Jennings are the NSW centre pairing, with Josh Morris on standby should Dugan not be passed fit after injuring his elbow in the Dragons loss to Souths last Thursday night.
The Sharks had three players named in the NSW team, skipper Paul Gallen, five eighth James Maloney and prop Andrew Fifita.
The NSW squad for game one of the 2016 State of Origin series is listed below.
NSW Origin Squad
Paul Gallen (c)