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NRL: What is on next week

There is another jam-packed week of sport to look forward to next week with game two of State of Origin, the AFL and One Day international cricket between Sri Lanka and Australia all taking place.

State of Origin will be the highlight for many with game two taking place at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Sunday 26th July.

New South Wales have to win to keep the series alive but once again selection problems are hampering Blues coach Brad Fittler’s preparations.

There is also a busy week of AFL action with a top-of-the ladder clash between Melbourne and the Brisbane Lions the highlight, while Fremantle and Carlton also set go head-to-head in another potential blockbuster at the MCG.

The One Day International series between Sri Lanka and Australia will also come to its conclusion. There has been nothing to separate the two sides so far and it has the potential to go to a decider on Friday.

State of Origin game two

What: New South Wales v Queensland
Where: Optus Stadium, Perth.
When: 19:50 (AEST)  Sunday 26th June, 2022
Odds: New South Wales 41/50,  Queensland 1/1

Game one in Sydney certainly lived up to all the hype. It was fast and furious with high skill levels to match and much of the same can be expected when both sides head to the west for game two in Perth.

The pressure is very much on New South Wales. Even though a close series was predicted beforehand, the Blues were seen as the team to beat after their 2-1 series win in 2021.

But they now find themselves needing to win at Optus Stadium to keep the series alive and take it to a decider in Brisbane.

Coach Brad Fittler has already named his squad that will take on the Maroons and he has made six changes from game one.

Jack Wighton is the enforced change as he is unwell. However Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Ryan Matterson, Kotoni Staggs, Tariq Sims, Jacob Saifiti and Tyson Frizzel have all been dropped.

Jake Trbojevic and Angus Crichton have been recalled and are expected to play, while debuts will be handed to Matt Burton and Siosifa Talakai.

Apisai Koroisau, who was in the game one squad but did not feature, is expected to be in the 17 in Perth.

Maroons coach Billy Slater will confirm his squad on Monday morning.

Slater is expected to keep changes to a minimum after they won game one 16-10. However he will be forced into a couple of changes due to injuries.

Reuben Cotter has picked up a hamstring injury while Xavier Coates is also out with an ankle injury he picked up in game one.

Even though Queensland hold a 1-0 series lead there is still some pressure on them. Expectations have now been raised and they will also have to take their game to the next level as the Blues are sure to come out firing.

Round 15 of the AFL

The 2022 AFL season is shaping up to be a cracker with Brisbane, Melbourne and Fremantle all level on 40 points at the top of the ladder.

And round 15 is an exciting prospect as well with Brisbane and Melbourne going head-to-head at the MCG on Thursday night.

Melbourne are going through something of a crisis. Having not lost in 17 games, a spell that also saw them win the 2021 grand final, they have now lost the last three games on the bounce.

They have not been helped by off-field issues and are in desperate need of a win to get back on track.

The Demons are priced at 3/4 to get the win. Brisbane are 11/10 and are in good touch after winning seven of the last nine games.

Meanwhile Fremantle are flying after winning their last three, including wins over Brisbane and Melbourne. They also have skipper Nat Fyfe back fit. They do face a tough assignment against fifth-placed Carlton though and are priced at 4/5 to get the win on Saturday.

Final two ODI’s between Sri Lanka and Australia

Australia will be hoping to wrap up the One Day International series against Sri Lanka which is on a knife edge at 1-1 after two closely fought encounters.

The third ODI is taking place on Sunday but whatever happens the series will be decided next week with two games to come on Tuesday and Friday.

Then it will be on to the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

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