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Merrin in for De Belin as Blues' 19th man

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/06/2017

Trent Merrin will join the NSW squad as replacement for suspended 19th man Jack de Belin in Wednesday night's State of Origin II.

St George Illawarra's De Belin was rubbed out after failing to overturn a one-match NRL ban for dangerous contact this week.

Penrith forward Merrin, who last played Origin in 2015, has represented NSW 13 times.

He joins club teammate and 18th man Matt Moylan as the Blues' back-up players for the match in Sydney.

The Panthers' duo will be available in the unlikely event any NSW players are ruled out in the lead-up to the ANZ Stadium clash.

Back-rower Tyson Frizell is the only Blues player under any sort of a cloud because of a rib cartilage injury.

However, he said this week he would be right to play out the match with the aid of a painkilling injection.

De Belin pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to the charge relating to a tackle on Parramatta forward Kenny Edwards in Sunday's loss to the Eels.

He will also be unavailable for the Dragons' clash with Newcastle on Sunday.

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