National

Blues brace for late Maroons changes

By AAP Newswire

NSW hitman Jack de Belin insists the Blues will be unmoved by any late changes Queensland make to their starting forward pack to State of Origin III.

NSW coach Brad Fittler on Sunday predicted Tim Glasby or Jarrod Wallace would be promoted into the run-on side when line-ups are finalised an hour before kickoff on Wednesday.

Maroons counterpart Kevin Walters later admitted he is likely to make a change, however hinted at bringing big man Coen Hess on for the early exchanges.

Queensland named a new front-row pairing following defeats in the opening two games of the series, with Jai Arrow and Josh Papalii named in the starting 13 at Suncorp Stadium.

And while the North Queensland powerhouse would present a different challenge for the Blues pack, de Belin is adamant it won't change their approach.

"It doesn't really change anything to be honest. Whoever they line up or put out there, we've still got a job to do and we're just focusing on us at the moment," de Belin said on Sunday.

The Maroons changes follow a knee injury to first-choice prop Dylan Napa, while Wallace, who has been heavily criticised for his series so far, was demoted to the bench.

However, Fittler believes counterpart Kevin Walters will tinker with his line-up before kickoff.

"I think Glasby or Wallace will find their way into the starting side," Fittler said on the Nine Network's The Sunday Footy Show.

Fittler admitted surprise that the Maroons overlooked Brisbane star Anthony Milford for the bench utility spot vacated by injured rookie Kalyn Ponga.

Milford was on the bench for game one but played sparingly.

However the Maroons instead dropped Ben Hunt from halfback to the bench and handed his No.7 jumper to Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans as they attempt to avoid a series clean sweep.

"I was surprised Milford didn't make it. When Milford came on in the first game he made me really nervous," Fittler said.

Former NSW captain Paul Gallen is adamant the Blues have an advantage in the size and form of their big men.

He pointed to the fact that Josh McGuire and Felise Kaufusi are the only Maroons forwards representing NRL teams currently inside the top eight.

"It definitely is a small pack," Gallen said of the Maroons.

"Jai Arrow's not the biggest front-rower, Josh Papalii normally plays on the edge and he's playing in a team that's also not in the top eight.

"Jai Arrow's in a team coming fourth or fifth last.

"I look at the form of the players. I just don't think the form of their forwards is anywhere near as good as the form of the NSW forwards."

The Blues continued preparations with an opposed session against their under-20s team on Sunday, with captain Boyd Cordner training for the first time this camp.

The team flies to Brisbane tomorrow, before finalising their build-up with a captain's run at Suncorp Stadium on Tuesday.