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George Clarke

Panicked Blues pose threat to Maroons

The selection of Jake Trbojevic (c) for NSW has been a questionable one given his stats this season. (AAP)

Queensland State of Origin great Billy Moore claims NSW's have panicked by making mass changes for game two while warning the Maroons can't expect such an easy ride in Perth.

Brad Fittler's squad hit the training ground on Tuesday, with seven changes made to the side that lost Origin I 16-10 in Sydney.

Only one of those - centre Jack Wighton (COVID-19) - was enforced by unavailability with the rest on form.

As well as bringing backrower Cameron Murray into the starting side and recalling Jake Trbojevic for Reagan Campebell-Gillard at prop, Fittler has added a distinctly Penrith flavour to the Blues.

Canterbury's Matt Burton, who was part of Penrith's grand final winning side last year, will replace Wighton, while Api Koroisau has dislodged Damien Cook as NSW's premier hooker. Stephen Crichton will start in the other centre berth.

"It smells a bit like panic to me," Moore told AAP. "We (Queensland) only won by the smallest of margins.

"There's no lack of respect from us. When you push someone into a corner they come out fired up and the Maroons will have to be better in Perth.

"The Blues have put all their chips on the table by 'Pantherising' their attack and adding a splash of James Tedesco.

"I understand the changes they've made by bringing that Penrith combination in and it's a really potent mix with Isaah Yeo at lock, Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai in the halves and then Burton and Koroisau at hooker.

"You know what you're going to get with Yeo and, in theory, you can limit Cleary's opportunities."

Moore claimed the Maroons' point of difference was their bench and how it generated quicker play-the-balls against a tiring NSW pack.

Fittler has turned to experienced Origin campaigner Angus Crichton and Cronulla's Siosifa Talakai to combat that threat with both able to play in the backrow or through the middle.

"He (Talakai) is so destructive. Is he made for Origin? It's either going to be rocks or diamonds," Moore said.

The most questionable decision of Fittler's selection is to recall Trbojevic, with Campbell-Gillard dropped altogether.

While typically a lock with club side Manly, Trbojevic has previously played for the Blues in the front row.

In 2022, however the 28-year-old has clocked up a career low average running metres (84m per game) and zero tackle busts across 15 games for the Sea Eagles.

"They've admitted they've made a mistake by bringing him back into the side," Moore said.

"Jake isn't a massive metre eater but he's the inspirational type who'll be rock solid for you in the middle.

"He's one of the best at slowing the ruck down and he'll be crucial if the Blues are going to stop Harry Grant."

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