KNIGHTS skipper Mitchell Pearce will join clubmates David Klemmer and Daniel Saifiti in the NSW Origin side for Wednesday week's series decider against Queensland at ANZ Stadium.
Pearce has been rushed into the Blues starting line-up after incumbent halfback Nathan Cleary was ruled out with an ankle injury.
Pearce, who would been chosen for Origin II but pulled out because of a corked thigh, had apparently fallen out of favour after Parramatta's Clint Gutherson was named as NSW's reserve back.
But NSW coach Brad Fittler has apparently had a change of heart and parachuted Pearce in for his 19th Origin appearance.
The 30-year-old will partner his former Roosters teammate James Maloney in the halves.
Klemmer, a controversial omission from the side named on Monday, was reinstated after Tariq Sims was ruled out through suspension.
Saifiti will play his second Origin after starring in NSW's 38-6 win in Perth last week.
The Queensland team for Origin III will feature their Newcastle teammate Tim Glasby on the bench, while Kalyn Ponga is unavailable because of a calf injury.
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