NSW Origin coach Laurie Daley is set to break up his stoic right side defensive unit of twins Josh and Brett Morris in order to shore up the leaky left flank.
The Morris brothers’ heroic defensive effort in NSW’s Game I win last year helped to sow the seeds for the Blues’ series win, which ended eight years of Queensland dominance.
A shoulder injury Brett suffered in that 12-8 win at Suncorp Stadium ruled him out of the remainder of the 2014 series, and a hamstring complaint sidelined him for NSW’s loss in Game I last month.
For those reasons the twins will play Origin together for the first time in three matches in Origin II in Melbourne next week.
But they are unlikely to play alongside each other following the disappointing defensive effort of NSW’s left side in Sydney.
In training on Thursday Brett Morris ran outside left centre Michael Jennings, filling the spot of dumped winger Daniel Tupou, as he did in the first session on Wednesday.
Will Hopoate remained on the right wing outside Josh Morris where he played in Origin I.
The Sydney Roosters club combination of Tupou and Jennings broke down in Origin I, with both of Queensland’s tries coming on their side.
It appears Daley has moved Brett Morris next to Jennings to oppose Maroons Justin Hodges and Will Chambers.
That leaves Josh Morris and Hopoate to counter the renowed scoring threat posed on the Queensland left side by Greg Inglis and Darius Boyd, who were kept quiet in Origin I.
The Blues were forced by their own hand to do plenty of defensive work in the second half at ANZ Stadium in their 11-10 loss in Game I and returning skipper Paul Gallen doesn’t want to see that happen again.
“We just put ourselves under too much pressure with errors,” Gallen said.
“I thought we defended really well and that gives us a lot of confidence. But we don’t want to have to do that again.
“We can’t afford to keep making errors like that, that mean Queensland get all that ball down our end of the field, and all those opportunities to score points.”
One of South Sydney duo Alex Johnston or Dylan Walker are set to join the Blues camp as 19th man after the Rabbitohs’ NRL clash with Wests Tigers on Friday.
Tyson Frizell is the Blues’ 18th man.