Origin opener will come too soon for returning Mansour


Josh Mansour will not be ready for the opening game of the State of Origin series despite returning to Penrith Panthers training this week.

The winger starred in the NRL last season with 16 tries in 25 appearances and played in all three Origin matches as New South Wales Blues were beaten 2-1 by Queensland Maroons.

He has yet to feature this year, though, after suffering a knee ligament while representing Australia at the Four Nations.

Mansour resumed contact work in training this week but Panthers coach Anthony Griffin says he will not return until round 13 against Canterbury Bulldogs on June 4 - four days after the first Origin clash in Brisbane.

"We thought he might have been a chance for next week [against Newcastle Knights] but it's round 13," Griffin said.

"He won't play next weekend, then we have the bye, then he'll play."