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RugbyL: Hopoate in NSW team for second Origin clash

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Will Hopoate was Tuesday recalled to the New South Wales team for the second State of Origin tie against Queensland, after a break from rugby league to work as a Mormon missionary.

Hopoate will be on the wing for the Blues in the crucial June 18 clash against Queensland, which the Maroons must win to keep the best-of-three series alive after losing the opening game.

Coach Laurie Daley said Hopoate, along with St George Illawarra's Josh Dugan, were the best replacements for injured brothers Brett and Josh Morris.

"We've opted for experience, guys that we believe will get the job done," Daley said of the team, which is hoping to break Queensland's eight-year dominance in Origin.

Daley said Hopoate, who put his rugby league career on hold in 2011 when he was just 19 to follow his religious calling, earned his place for being "really strong after coming back from a two-year absence".

Hopoate scored a try in NSW's 8-6 win in the second game of the 2011 series, but missed the third match due to a hamstring injury.

In other changes, Gold Coast's Greg Bird will return from suspension while captain Paul Gallen moves to the front row as prop.

Queensland, which lost the opener 12-8 in Brisbane, named a 22-man squad on Monday to deal with injury concerns, including to Test centre Greg Inglis (ankle) and Billy Slater (shoulder).

NSW team (1-13) - Jarryd Hayne; Will Hopoate, Josh Dugan, Michael Jennings, Daniel Tupou; Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson; Paul Gallen (capt), Robbie Farah, Aaron Woods; Ryan Hoffman, Beau Scott; Greg Bird.

Interchange: James Tamou, Anthony Watmough, Trent Merrin, Luke Lewis.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140610/rugbyl-hopoate-nsw-team-second-origin-clash