Just two games back after nine months on the sidelines following a knee reconstruction, Wade Graham has been named in the NSW State of Origin team for game two of the series to be played in Perth next Sunday.
Graham’s recall is remarkable considering his long road to recovery, but his class, toughness and leadership were qualities coach Brad Fittler was happy to fast track back into his team for the crucial second game of the series.
While Graham’s selection for the Blues will be welcomed by Sharks fans, somewhat unlucky was centre Josh Morris who has been overlooked.
Morris was a solid performer for NSW in their narrow game one loss, as he has been for the Sharks through the opening 14 rounds of the season, however NSW selectors have opted for Tom Trbojevic and Canberra’s Jack Wighton as his centre pairing. Interestingly, neither plays in the centres for their club side, with Trbojevic a fullback at Manly and Wighton a fullback of five eighth at the Raiders.
Graham will assembled in the city tonight with his NSW teammates before flying to Perth tomorrow ahead of the game to be contested at Optus Stadium on Sunday 23 June.
The Sharks co-captain is one of seven changes, with Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle Knights) and Dale Finucane (Melbourne Storm) to make their Origin debuts, while James Maloney (2018), Tom Trbojevic (2018), Tariq Sims (2018), Blake Ferguson (2017) and Graham (2017) have all been recalled.
The Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues for Game Two of the 2019 Holden State of Origin Series is:
1 James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
2 Blake Ferguson (Parramatta Eels)
3 Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
4 Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders)
5 Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm)
6 James Maloney (Penrith Panthers)
7 Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)
8 Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)
9 Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
10 Paul Vaughan (St George Illawarra Dragons)
11 Boyd Cordner (c) (Sydney Roosters)
12 Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons)
13 Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
14 Dale Finucane (Melbourne Storm)
15 Tariq Sims (St George Illawarra Dragons)
16 Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
17 Wade Graham (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)