Jack Wighton out State of Origin game two new south whales blues with COVID19

By Chris De Silva and Emily Patterson

New South Wales‘ hopes of holding onto the State of Origin shield have been dealt a major blow with Jack Wighton contracting COVID-19.

Wighton was one of the Blues’ best in the series-opener, starting in the centres – with the likes of Latrell Mitchell sidelined – and scoring the first try for them.

“Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton has been ruled out of Sunday’s match against the Knights due to COVID protocols,” a Raiders statement read on Friday night.

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Wighton will follow COVID return to play protocols once his isolation is completed next week.”

With the second game of the series just nine days away, it is all but certain that Wighton will be ruled out of contention.

Speaking on Nine’s NRL coverage, coach Brad Fittler ruled out a shock call-up of Mitchell.

“Latrell is unavailable,” he said.

“Speaking to South Sydney earlier in the week, given he’d just come back from America and when he got back to Australia he had COVID-19 as well, so I believe he was pretty knocked around. He’s only had one proper session, so Latrell won’t be available.”

Stephen Crichton could form a likely replacement with Katoni Staggs retaining his spot. Matt Burton and Siosifa Talakai could also make a case for selection.

“It’s just something we have to deal with,” Fittler said.

The Blues will name their side on Sunday, following the conclusion of the round.

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