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Woods racing against time for Origin I

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/04/2016

NSW won't take injured prop Aaron Woods into the State of Origin series opener unless he can get some football under his belt before then, according to Blues skipper Paul Gallen.

Woods is racing the clock to recover from an ankle injury in order to be fit for Origin I at ANZ Stadium on June 1.

He is scheduled to return somewhere between rounds 11 and 13 and Gallen said he would likely have to return for the Tigers' round 11 clash against Newcastle to come into consideration.

Laurie Daley will name his game one side after that round and Gallen said the coach had a standing requirement that any player needed to return to the field before they could be considered.

"Just going on what I went through last year, missing game one, Laurie said he couldn't pick me without a game under my belt," Gallen told Triple M.

"You never know but I'd be surprised if (Woods) was picked without a game under his belt ... Which means he's got to be back in about four weeks so fingers crossed he can get that done."

Gallen said in-form Cronulla teammate Andrew Fifita, who was dropped during last year's series, shaped as a replacement for Woods.

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