Josh Addo-Carr has been left out of the New South Wales State of Origin squad in a controversial selection decision.
Instead, Roosters and former Blues player Daniel Tupou has been chosen as his replacement on the wing.
Speaking from team camp on Monday morning, head coach Brad Fittler explained the thinking behind the selection.
“[The decision] has been quite a stir with the players,” Fittler said on SEN’s Breakfast with Vossy & Brandy.
“[Addo-Carr] is so unique, the way he is around camp.
“But I really feel that it was more of a case of Daniel Tupou playing his way in – what he’s done at the Roosters, how safe he is, the way he’s finishing, the way he brings the ball back out of trouble.
“I feel like at the moment, I don’t think it’d be right on Fox or the team to go into game one.
“So we’ve communicated and he’s committed to getting back into the team and my line to him was, well, he belongs here.
“So that was a tough one.”
Addo-Carr debuted for the Blues in 2018, featuring in Fittler’s team for their three series victories since then.
The speedy winger has also picked up 10 tries in his 12 Origin appearance.
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Greg Alexander – who is an advisor to the NSW Blues – explained that the decision was also made in response to the potential threat of Queensland under the high ball.
“[Addo-Carr] is out of form,” Alexander said on SEN’s Breakfast with Vossy & Brandy.
“Plenty of players have been picked when they’ve been in bad form or not great form. But they’ve done the job before.
“With in mind what Queensland will be picking, we just decided that we’d go with Daniel Tupou on the wing instead of Josh Addo-Carr.
“Daniel Tupou has been in great form as well. He’s also been [in Origin] before – he did a great job for us in 2020. I thought he was one of our better players in 2020.
“He’s a great carry out of his own end [sic], he’s tall, he’s a target for our kicks, but he can also defend kicks.
“So while you’d like to pick and stick … and stay with those that have done the job, I think there are some positions – some specialist positions – that you need to take into account what the other team will throw at you.”