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Barnett close to New South Wales Origin debut

One New Zealand Warriors forward Mitchell Barnett has moved another step closer to making his State of Origin debut.

The 30-year-old was in the wider 20-man squad as injury cover for the first Origin clash in Sydney on June 5 but Blues coach Michael Maguire has elevated him to 18th man for second match of the series in Melbourne on June 26.

Barnett was again outstanding in the Warriors’ NRL encounter with Melbourne at Go Media Stadium on Saturday night when he scored a try, made 140 metres plus a team-high seven tackle breaks and 25 tackles with just one miss.

Latrell Mitchell headlines a host of changes to the Blues, with the South Syddney star set for his first Origin appearance since 2021 after being named in the centres to replace the suspended Joseph Sua'ali'i.

Connor Watson, Dylan Edwards, Mitchell Moses and Cameron Murray have also been called in.


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