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Sifa earns Origin call up

In a reward for his standout 2022 season, Sharks star Siosifa Talakai will make his State of Origin debut after being named in the NSW team for game two of the series.

Amongst the Sharks best through the first 15 rounds, turning in some eye-catching performances since transitioning to the centre position, Talakai’s utility value has obviously been recognised by NSW Blues Coach Brad Fittler who has included him on his interchange bench.

Sharks’ teammate Nicho Hynes will also join Talakai in NSW camp after being selected in an extended Blues squad.

Fittler has made seven changes to his 22-player squad for Game Two of the Ampol State of Origin series, set down for Optus Stadium in Perth on Sunday, June  26.

The changes from the team which lost Game One 16-10 in Sydney include the additions of Matt Burton, Angus Crichton, Clint Gutherson, Jordan McLean, Victor Radley, Jake Trbojevic and Talakai.

The squad also includes six players who are yet to make their debut for the Blues including Burton, McLean, Radley, Joseph Suaali, Talakai and Hynes.

The team departs Sydney for Perth today, with the squad to spend the first part of camp at the beachside community of Scarborough before putting the finishing touches on their preparations in Perth from Friday.

BRYDENS LAWYERS NSW BLUES SQUAD (in alphabetical order)

Matt Burton (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)

Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)

Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Angus Crichton (Sydney Roosters)

Stephen Crichton (Penrith Panthers)

Clint Gutherson (Parramatta Eels)

Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos)

Nicho Hynes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)

Apisai Koroisau (Penrith Panthers)

Jarome Luai (Penrith Panthers)

Liam Martin (Penrith Panthers)

Jordan McLean (North Queensland Cowboys)

Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eels)

Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters)

Joseph Suaalii (Sydney Roosters)

Siosifa Talakai (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)

James Tedesco (c) (Sydney Roosters)

Brian To’o (Penrith Panthers)

Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)

Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters)

Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers)

Coach: Brad Fittler

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.