Haas declares himself fit for Origin clash

·3-min read

Payne Haas has declared himself be fit to play in next week's State of Origin opener for NSW after getting the all clear on a knee injury.

Haas had his Origin hopes plunged into doubt in the blink of an eye last Thursday when he limped from the field during Brisbane's loss to Melbourne.

However, scans have since cleared him of any medial damage, with the Broncos prop confident of returning to full training by Thursday.

"I was a bit stressed. I knew Origin was around the corner and I knew the teams were getting selected," Haas told AAP.

"I originally thought I would be out for two-to-four weeks,. But it's all good;. The scans came back good.

"I was glad I got a few more days under my belt to recover. Because if I was playing against the Dragons on Thursday I wouldn't have been able to recover.

"I'll just rehab at the start of the week and we'll have our first proper run on Thursday."

Haas remains the Blues' biggest injury concern on their first full day of camp on Monday, which was free of any major training runs.

Players also gathered on Monday night for the True Blues dinner where Billy Smith, Brett Kenny and Glenn Lazarus were inducted into the NSWRL Hall of Fame.

Haas' injury relief gives the Blues a mostly clean bill of health, with Tyson Frizell already ruled out with a syndesmosis complaint.

Coach Brad Fittler is hopeful Frizell could return for Game II in Brisbane on June 27, but that will depend on the outcome of scans on the back-rowers' ankle in Newcastle.

James Tedesco still appeared sore at the Blues' Coogee base, after he left the field with a hip pointer injury in the Sydney Roosters' win over Canberra on Saturday.

Players are usually able to play through the pain on hip pointers without doing any further damage, with Tedesco able to return to the field against the Raiders.

"He's in no doubt," Fittler said.

"So I think everyone will pretty much train as of Thursday definitely. The majority will train tomorrow."

Meanwhile, Fittler said he found it too hard to ignore Penrith's unbeaten form when it came to crunch decisions.

The five Panthers in the Blues' 17 is the most since Fittler and his advisor Greg Alexander were in the NSW team in 1991.

The trickiest call came in the halves with Jarome Luai getting the nod to partner Nathan Cleary, in favour of Jack Wighton who will instead play as a bench utility.

"It was close," Fittler said.

"But it's hard to ignore what Penrith are doing at the moment.

"With Jack it might just be easy for him to go out and play footy. Not so much worry about the tactics and just allow him (to play).

"I always thought he is best when he is just running the ball hard and being aggressive.

"So that should give him the chance to do that."

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