Sad Departure: 3 key players departed NSW BLUES just now…

Michael Maguire has lifted the lid on his Blues team after squaring the State of Origin series to force a decider in Queensland.

Sitting down for the Matty Johns Podcast, Maguire opened up on the awkward selection dilemma he could face surrounding the potential return of superstars Tom Trbojevic and Nathan Cleary.

Maguire also discussed the impending Queensland hostilities with the Blues mentor throwing a cheeky dig at his Queensland counterpart ahead of expected changes to the Maroons line-up following the Blues’ 38-18 Game II flogging.

He also touched on Latrell Mitchell’s much-hyped return to the Origin arena following a dominant Game II display while lauding Angus Crichton’s resurgence following a difficult period which saw the 28-year-old take time away from the game to deal with mental health issues before returning to emerge as arguably the NRL’s best backrower.

Blues coach Michael Maguire has discussed the possible inclusions of Nathan Cleary and Tom Trbojevic ahead of Game III with the star duo set to make their long-awaited returns from injury.

Cleary has been sidelined since Round 10 and was expected to miss the entire State of Origin series but reportedly could return to the field sooner than first thought, while Trbojevic has been named at centre for Manly to face the Cowboys on Sunday in Townsville.

It would be a huge move to bring Cleary back following current Blues halfback Mitchell Moses’ stellar Game II performance which saw the Maroons blown off the park in a 38-18 drubbing in Melbourne.

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“I’ve got to get through next week’s games, so that’s the first thing,” Maguire told the Matty Johns Podcast.

“That’s the one thing I have learned that you can’t pick a team until you get to the Sunday night and work out what’s what and who’s fit and who’s not.”

However, Maguire said if Moses got through Thursday night’s clash against the Rabbitohs unscathed he would be named at halfback in Game III for the Blues.

“I have had a lot of discussions with Nathan (Cleary) all the way through and I know what he would say,” he said.

“You don’t change what’s working and I think where we are moving towards where we want to build and having Mitch and Jarome, touch wood, that they all get through.

“We’re building something very strong amongst that spine so moving forward you can see where we’re going.”

Meanwhile, Maguire said Trbojevic would likely be part of the New South Wales camp, but not as a player.

“Tommy is much the same, really (as Cleary),” he said.

“Tommy will float in and around the camp if he’s got the ability to get there and that’s something there that they’ve all done.

“Nathan came up and Tommy came up, and when I first sort of started I used those boys as leaders amongst the group to get a bit of an idea of how things were travelling.

“But as I said I am really confident with the group that I’ve got.”

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