Penrith centre Stephen Crichton will start Wednesday night’s State of Origin opener after Latrell Mitchell was ruled out with an injury.
Crichton was already with the Blues squad as 18th man but will now come into the team for the match in Adelaide.
Mitchell sustained the calf injury at training and scans later revealed a strain which would prevent him playing.
Crichton will join his Penrith teammates Brian To’o, Jarome Luai, Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin in the Blues team.
2021 Penrith premiership-winning centre Matt Burton, who is now at the Bulldogs, will travel to Adelaide as 18th man.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.