THE Blues' hopes of ending Queensland's State of Origin dominance have been dealt a major blow with news that star back Jarryd Hayne will miss the decider in Sydney next week because of a hamstring problem.
NSW team doctor Nathan Gibbs made the decision to pull Hayne out after the 20-man Blues squad gathered in Coogee yesterday.
Hayne has not played since tearing his hamstring while turning out for Parramatta just 48 hours after playing a starring role in Origin I on June 5.
His replacement will be Scottish-born flier James McManus, who will play his second Origin game - four years since making his debut in the 2009 series opener.
McManus was injured in that game and his only representative football since was for Country against City last season.
The Newcastle Knights winger has been in scintillating form this season, however.
He is the NRL's top try scorer with 16, which included a four-try haul against the Titans.
While Hayne will definitely miss next week's crunch game, there is also an injury cloud hanging over Greg Bird and James Tamou.
Bird went for an MRI yesterday on a foot problem, while Tamou, who was suspended from Origin II after being charged with drink-driving and driving without a licence, was sent for a scan on a pectoral injury
If he is ruled fit to play Tamou says he owes his Blues teammates a top performance after missing out on Origin II.
"I have come here to this camp to make amends," the Cowboys and Australian prop said.
"Being kept out of Origin II really hurt me.
"I know I have a lot of making up to do with the coaching staff and the boys."
Tamou was fined $20,000 by the NRL for his off-field indiscretions and also hit with a $1900 fine and banned from driving for 15 months.
He said he had learned his lesson for his terrible off-field behaviour and had plenty of motivation to put in a big performance next Wednesday night.
"Since it all happened I have been thinking about things a lot and missing Origin II definitely fuelled that motivation," Tamou said.
"I said if I got another chance it would make me want to come out in Origin III and explode, I guess.
"What I did was 100 per cent completely wrong and someone could have been killed.
"If something like that had happened I don't think I could have lived with myself."
Tamou said he felt honoured to be allowed back to play Origin and would not be making the same off-field mistakes.
"What happened with the incident was definitely a life lesson and I know for a fact it won't happen again," he said.
"Being back here (Blues Origin camp) is a real defining moment in my life and career and I have got to live up to it."
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