New South Wales Blues have been handed a big blow as they look to save the State of Origin Series with starting centre Josh Morris ruled out of game two with a groin strain.
Canterbury Bulldogs star Morris picked up the injury during a training session and has been a valuable contributor to his state team in his 14 Origin appearances for the Blues, who lost 6-4 to Queensland Maroons in Origin I.
His exclusion for Origin II at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday was confirmed by NSW Rugby League on Saturday in a written statement, which explained: "Morris warmed up with the side this morning but didn't make it through the session."
He has five tries to show for his 14 games in state colours, as Blues coach as Laurie Daley looks to Dylan Walker to replace Morris in the centre of his team.
Jack Bird comes onto the bench to make his Origin debut.
The 21-year-old won the Dally M Award Best Rookie last season, and has been a key player for Cronulla Sharks with 10 tries in 36 NRL games.