June 13, 2024

KATOOMBA, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 01: Dylan Edwards warms up with team mates during a New South Wales Blues State of Origin training session at Blue Mountains Grammar School on June 01, 2024 in Katoomba, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Dylan Edwards’ anticipated State of Origin debut is now uncertain mere days before Game 1 of the 2024 series, as the NSW and Penrith fullback is reported to have experienced quad tightness during Blues training.

The injury occurred after Edwards engaged in additional fitness drills following NSW’s training session on Saturday. In response, former fullback and captain James Tedesco, initially omitted from the Blues’ Game 1 lineup in favor of Edwards, has been summoned to camp as a standby option in case Edwards is unable to play.

NSW coach Michael Maguire reached out to Roosters coach Trent Robinson to inquire about Tedesco’s availability for Origin duties, though Tedesco is slated to participate in their match against the North Queensland Cowboys on Sunday, regardless.

Dylan Edwards at NSW Blues training.

Maguire explained to the Sydney Morning Herald, “It’s just precautionary… We may have to make a decision tomorrow on whether Dyl will play… We have some very qualified people who know exactly where it is at. They did say that we will get a better indicator in about 12-18 hours.”

While Edwards remains optimistic about his chances of proving fitness for Wednesday’s series opener at Accor Stadium, time is of the essence, with the match fast approaching in just four days.

The 28-year-old Dylan Edwards has a history of battling through injuries, famously playing in the Panthers’ 2021 NRL grand final victory over the Rabbitohs with a broken foot.

“It’s devastating for Edwards,” former Cronulla and NSW star Wade Graham remarked on Triple M. “You get selected, he’s worked so hard and been one of the best players in the competition for the last three or four years and picks up, even if it’s just a little niggle and still manages to get to the game, it’s disrupting to his preparation. It’s just not what you want after being on top of the world.”

However, there’s some positive news for the Blues as Nicho Hynes is expected to overcome his calf issues and participate in the State of Origin series opener after a productive training session. Hynes, the NSW halfback, showed confidence in his running during the session, and the Blues completed an opposed session with players from Penrith’s pathways teams.

Team staff confirmed that Hynes had pulled up well after the session and is set to play in the Origin series opener at Accor Stadium on June 5, provided he doesn’t aggravate the injury that has troubled him since early May.

With Hynes’s likely inclusion, NSW is expected to release 19th man Luke Keary, who was on standby to play in the halves if Hynes didn’t make it through the crucial training session at Blue Mountains Grammar.

Meanwhile, Josh Addo-Carr’s hopes of a NSW recall later in the State of Origin series have been dashed by a hamstring injury that will sideline him until August. Canterbury football boss Phil Gould confirmed that the winger would miss between eight and 10 weeks after sustaining a high-grade hamstring tear during Friday’s win against Newcastle.

NRL 2022: James Tedesco, injury, Sydney Roosters, knee, stem-cell surgery,  meniscus, will Tedesco be fit for round one?

Addo-Carr’s absence is not only a loss for the Blues but also for the improving Bulldogs, who are aiming for their first finals berth since 2016. Bulldogs captain and NSW centre Stephen Crichton emphasized Addo-Carr’s importance to the team, describing him as one of their top players and a leader.

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