State Of Origin 2016: NSW finalises 17-man State of Origin squad, Josh Morris and Tyson Frizell axed
New South Wales has finalised its 17-man squad for the opening game of State of Origin in Sydney, with Josh Morris and Tyson Frizell released from camp.
The Bulldogs' Morris and St George Illawarra's Frizell will return to their respective NRL teams to play this weekend's round of fixtures.
The Blues hit the training field in Coffs Harbour for the first time today, with five-eighth James Maloney saying Morris would be a big loss for the team.
"Josh has done a good job for New South Wales for a lot of years, so which ever way it goes I think we've got some great talent there," James Maloney said.
Morris has been a regular part of the Blues since 2012, but full-back Josh Dugan was preferred out of position at right centre for the Origin opener in Sydney next Wednesday.
NSW Origin squad:
- Greg Bird
- Boyd Cordner
- Josh Dugan
- Robbie Farah
- Blake Ferguson
- Tyson Frizell
- Paul Gallen (c)
- Josh Jackson
- Michael Jennings
- David Klemmer
- James Maloney
- Josh Mansour
- Matt Moylan
- Adam Reynolds
- James Tamou
- Dylan Walker
- Aaron Woods
- Bryce Cartwright (development)
The Bulldogs centre has been tasked with the hardest job in Origin over the last few years - stopping Greg Inglis.
Despite NSW's lack of success of that period, Morris has largely kept Inglis subdued.
Morris was a key figure in NSW's drought-breaking series win in 2014.
Vision of Morris shrugging off a knee injury to chase down Inglis in NSW's crucial game one win at Lang Park that year has become synonymous with the Blues' win and part of Origin folklore.
And that might be how Morris is best remembered if he doesn't play again in the sky blue jersey.
Kangaroos representative Dugan is considered a long-term prospect at centre for the Blues and his right side combination with good mate Blake Ferguson could be a part of NSW line-ups for years to come.
That leaves Morris, who turns 30 in August, on the outer after he was released by Daley from the Blues 19-man squad.
With four fresh faces in the squad and a new halves combination in Maloney and Adam Reynolds, the Blues will have limited preparation time for the opener on June 1 at Sydney's Olympic stadium.