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Bradman puts his Best foot forward for NSW Blues

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Long touted as a player of enormous potential, Newcastle Knights star Bradman Best will finally don an NSW Blues jumper in 2023.

After scoring a hat-trick in his side’s 66-0 thrashing of the Sydney Bulldogs at the weekend, the Central Coast-born centre has earned a call-up for Game III of the State of Origin series, at Accor Stadium, on Wednesday 12 July.

The 21-year-old is one of a host of changes in the Brad Fittler-coached squad.

Rabbitohs playmaker Cody Walker returns at five-eighth for his first showdown since 2020 while Clint Gutherson and Reagan Campbell-Gillard have also been recalled.

Manly star Jake Trbojevic is also back after missing the first two games with injury.

Other new faces include South Sydney’s Keaon Koloamatangi, Cowboys fullback Scott Drinkwater and Panthers enforcer Spencer Leniu.

For Best, who’s played 61 matches in the red and blue since debuting as a teenager, it’s a terrific reward for a string of strong performances for the Knights.

He’ll run out alongside team-mate Jacob Saifiti after the forward was recalled into the side.

The front-rower made his Origin debut in Game III of last year’s series.

NSW Blues Game III squad

  • 1. James Tedesco (c) (Sydney Roosters)
  • 2. Brian To’o (Penrith Panthers)
  • 3. Stephen Crichton (Penrith Panthers)
  • 4. Bradman Best (Newcastle Knights)
  • 5. Josh Addo-Carr (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
  • 6. Cody Walker (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
  • 7. Mitchell Moses (Parramatta Eels)
  • 8. Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
  • 9. Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
  • 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Parramatta Eels)
  • 11. Liam Martin (Penrith Panthers)
  • 12. Keaon Koloamatangi (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
  • 13. Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
  • 14. Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers)
  • 15. Jacob Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)
  • 16. Reece Robson (North Queensland Cowboys)
  • 17. Clint Gutherson (Parramatta Eels)
  • 18. Scott Drinkwater (North Queensland Cowboys)
  • 19. Spencer Leniu (Penrith Panthers)

Coach: Brad Fittler

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