Few players have more to lose if NSW suffer a 3-0 series defeat in State of Origin III than Blake Ferguson.
The Sydney Roosters star is one of several new players Laurie Daley has drafted into his Blues side for this series as the coach seeks to re-energise his side.
Ferguson made his Origin debut in 2013 but didn’t appear the Blues again until this year due to his off field dramas.
Daley counts him as one of 11 ‘new’ players, the 10 others are rookies, he has brought into the Blues side over this season and last.
But two underwhelming efforts in game one and game two has Ferguson under the pump.
If Brett Morris hadn’t ruled him self out of game three, Ferguson could have been dumped by Daley in favour of the Canterbury star who has scored seven tries in three games since his return from a long-term knee injury.
Ferguson, 26, struggled to get involved in the Blues’ series-ending game two defeat in Brisbane last week.
He managed just six runs for 42m, while his fellow back five made far more of an impression.
NSW’s other winger Josh Mansour made 122m from 15 runs, Dylan Walker made 84m from 12 runs, Matt Moylan made 77m from 12 runs. Even Michael Jennings who endured one of his worst performances made 110m from 13 runs.
Ferguson was on the defensive when questioned about his Origin efforts this year.
“I don’t think there is anything wrong with how I am playing, that is what you blokes (the media) have been saying,” Ferguson said.
“I am happy with how I am playing.”
Ferguson will be boosted by his reunion with friend and former Canberra teammate Josh Dugan on NSW’s right side.
St George Illawarra star Dugan missed Origin I and II with an elbow injury after the pair played together in the Kangaroos win over the Kiwis earlier this year.
“We are good mates and we always enjoy playing together,” Dugan said.