Mitchell gets Blues recall, Moses in for Hynes

Scott Bailey and Jasper Bruce |

Dylan Edwards says his game one heartbreak will leave him better prepared for a State of Origin debut as he lines up alongside Mitch Moses and Latrell Mitchell among five new faces in the NSW side for the MCG encounter.

Blues coach Michael Maguire on Sunday night announced several big calls for the must-win match on June 26, including the hard-nosed decision to axe halfback Nicho Hynes.

Cameron McInnes has also become a casualty of the Blues’ series-opening loss, with Cameron Murray straight back into the team at lock on return from hip injury.

And Connor Watson will make his debut off the bench, preferred over Matt Burton as a utility, with Hudson Young the man to fall off the interchange.

But it is Edwards who has ridden the biggest roller-coaster into the Blues side.

Initially picked ahead of Australia’s Test captain James Tedesco for Origin I, the Penrith fullback was ruled out three days before the match after picking up a quad strain.

Dylan Edwards.
Dylan Edwards has ridden a huge roller-coaster on his way to making his State of Origin debut. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

He remained in the NSW camp to help them prepare and sat in the coach’s box with Maguire for the Blues’ 38-10 defeat at Accor Stadium.

And after getting through his return for Penrith unscathed on Sunday, Edwards declared he would now benefit from his Origin I experience in Melbourne.

“It prepares you, definitely,” Edwards told AAP. 

“You’re never going to know until you’re actually out there under the lights, but it sort of prepares you the best you can.

“I got to experience Origin, I was in the box so I got to look at it from that point of view, and just the whole preparation and atmosphere was really good.”

Edwards admitted he had been blindsided by the injury, when he pulled up sore while doing extras after Blues training on the Saturday before the game.

“It’s something you work so hard for for a long time, and just for an unfortunate accident really, no signs leading up to it,” he said. 

“It just went. I was fortunate enough to have my family running around me and my fiancee, they were in camp that day, so that helped a lot. 

“It was very disappointing, but I was lucky enough to stay in camp and couldn’t really be a burden to anyone. I just wanted the team to perform well.”

Edwards’ selection means Tedesco’s run of consecutive Origin matches for NSW will end at 23, after already conceding on Saturday night he expected to miss out.

Hynes’ call is equally tough.

The Cronulla halfback came under fire following the Blues’ series-opening 38-10 loss, with NSW accused of lacking polish at the end of sets in attack.

At the same time, Moses is now three games back from a long-term foot injury and is showing some signs of being back to his best for Parramatta.

He will partner Jarome Luai in the Blues’ halves, with Maguire keeping faith in the No.6 and preferring him over the fit-again Cody Walker.

Mitch Moses.
Mitch Moses is showing signs of being back to his very best form. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

Meanwhile, Mitchell’s selection means he is back for his first Origin match since 2021 in place of the suspended Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii at centre.

Injuries have derailed Mitchell’s past two campaigns, and there had been questions over his commitment to the Blues earlier this year.

But the Rabbitohs No.1 sat next to Maguire at a South Sydney function on Saturday afternoon, and has made clear he wants to help NSW dig their way out of a 1-0 series deficit.


Dylan Edwards, Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton, Latrell Mitchell, Zac Lomax, Jarome Luai, Mitch Moses, Jake Trbojevic (capt), Reece Robson,  Payne Haas, Liam Martin, Angus Crichton, Cameron Murray. Bench: Connor Watson, Isaah Yeo, Haumole Olakau’atu, Spencer Leniu. 18th man: Mitchell Barnett. Reserves: Cameron McInnes, Luke Keary.