Ricky Stuart has urged NSW coach Brad Fittler to stick with his winning formula, even if it means picking players out of position for State of Origin III.
Former NSW coach Ricky Stuart has backed Wade Graham to be named Blues' five-eighth over Mitchell Pearce for the State of Origin decider in Sydney next month.
Graham plays as a second-rower in the NRL for Cronulla, but successfully returned to his old position halfway through Origin II in Perth last Sunday after Nathan Cleary was injured.
Sharks skipper Graham helped steer the Blues to a thumping 38-6 win against Queensland and has cemented his place in the squad for game three.
Pearce has been in red-hot form for Newcastle this season but was ruled out of the opening two Origin games through injury. He has made himself available for the decider.
The other option would be moving NSW centre Jack Wighton into the halves - where he plays for Canberra under coach Stuart.
Wighton and Tom Trbojevic were picked in the centres for game two in Perth, despite the pair having played a combined five games there since 2015.
Blues coach Brad Fittler's seven changes for the match were vindicated with the victory and Stuart urged him to stick with the winning formula, even if players were out of position.
"Personally, I like the concept Brad has taken on board in regards to just needing your best players out there and if that's the case you've got to have Wade Graham start the game," Stuart said.
"I didn't see too much wrong with the combination of (James) Maloney and Graham or the performance of Jack of Tom Trbojevic in the centres.
"I was hoping Jack would play really well and I was confident he could but you worry when a guy hasn't played in a specialist position like that for a long time.
"To his credit he showed his maturity and quality and was great for NSW.
"(Fittler) was very courageous in what he did in game two with his selections and I think he'd be feeling pretty comfortable with keeping them in those spots."
On Saturday Wighton will play five-eighth against Parramatta, Trbojevic starts at fullback against the Gold Coast for Manly, while Graham packs down in the second-row against Canterbury on Sunday.