Queensland great Justin Hodges says New South Wales have missed a crucial opportunity to blood the next generation of Blues stars in Game III next Wednesday.
Amid talk of a need for a New South Wales cleanout, Blues coach Laurie Daley made just two changes to his side, with Wade Graham and James Tedesco to debut.
It means there’s no room for veteran Greg Bird and although Hodges does feel for his former Australian teammate, the Maroons legend told NITV’s League Nation Live the Blues needed to bring in more youth.
“Look I think there’s a few other players whose time is up as well.
“I know its Gal’s ( Paul Gallen) last game so it’s great that he gets to play his last game and the fans get to see him off, but I think Robbie Farah needs to go and probably Michael Jennings needs to go.
“BJ Leilua should have got a chance and I think this is a game where they should have given those guys opportunities, so when it comes to next year they have that experience and know what Origin football is about,” Hodges said.
Hodges believes delaying the introduction of new faces is a crucial error and already gives Queensland an advantage for the 2017 Origin series.
“Next year they’re going to be in the same boat, they’re going to have new players that have never played in that arena and Queensland still have the same superstar players”.