A shattered Adam Reynolds will miss State of Origin III after suffering a recurrence of a shoulder injury.
NSW halfback Reynolds was ruled out of game three on Wednesday after failing to train with the Blues at their Coffs Harbour base.
Blues coach Laurie Daley is yet to name a replacement.
But utility Jack Bird trained in place of Reynolds. Matt Moylan is likely to be recalled to the side as a bench utility after losing his fullback spot to James Tedesco.
“It is always hard missing out on those games, Origin games are special,” said Reynolds, who made his Origin debut in game one.
“It was the highlight of my career. To sit out and not take part is very disappointing.
I want to come back and be part of the side next year, I have learnt a lot from being here.
“I am only going to grow from here and I look forward to getting another shot.”
Prop Aaron Woods said the loss of Reynolds was a blow to the Blues chances of avoiding a series whitewash at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday week.
“It is frustrating for Adam he worked really hard to get back from the injury,” Woods said.
“He just told the boys before we just trained and he spent the session with the physio.
“It is disappointing for Adam and ourselves. It is not the ideal preparation going into Origin.”
Reynolds injured his shoulder late in NSW’s series-ending game two defeat in Brisbane.
He played in South Sydney’s loss to North Queensland last weekend.
But he continues to be troubled by pins and needles in his shoulder and has a pinched nerve in his neck.
Bird capably filled in for Reynolds late in game two and could do so again alongside James Maloney in the Blues halves.
The duo have played together at representative level before as six and seven for Country Origin earlier this year.