No Separation Anxiety for Morris Twins
Blues centre Josh Morris says he's happy to maintain his right-edge combination with Will Hopoate in Origin II as his twin brother and occasional edge partner Brett Morris comes in as a straight swap for Daniel Tupou outside Michael Jennings on the Blues' left flank.
The twins have formed a potent combination for the Blues in the past, including in last year's 12-10 win in the season opener, where they both wrote themselves into Origin folklore playing through serious injuries to make crucial tackles in the tense win.
But with Brett out of action for this year's opener with a hamstring injury, Josh did a great job alongside Hopoate in shutting down Queensland danger men Greg Inglis and Darius Boyd, who are each tied on 15 Origin tries as the greatest try-scorers in Origin history.
"Brett is playing on the left. He will be alongside Michael," Josh confirmed on Saturday morning before a critical opposed session against local players from the Coffs Harbour Comets.
"The right side is me and Will. We had a good combination in Game One, really worked well together."
Both twins are familiar with either side of the field, having played both left and right at NRL and representative level, and Josh conceded he would have like to line up alongside his brother in the Blues defensive line but added he is confident in Hopoate to do the job after his reliable defensive efforts in Game One.
"That's why Laurie went with it," Josh said. "They didn't get a try down our edge – you usually see 'GI' and Darius scoring. We'll look to build on that in Game Two. I play left at club but right here. Brett plays fullback and left or right wing at club. He has played all those positions in rep games."
Josh Morris has virtually carved an Origin career out of marking Greg Inglis, who has given some other Blues edge defenders nightmares over his 25 Origin appearances for Queensland playing outside stars like Johnathan Thurston.
"It worries me every time I play him," he laughed.
"I would be lying if I said it didn't. That's my job. I'm here to limit his opportunities and impact. If we're working as a team and a right side unit we can limit these opportunities to make sure he doesn't create too much damage.
"We did a good job in the first game. We worked hard from our inside. Our tights and edge 'D' with Beau [Scott] worked really hard to make sure JT played early. That gave us a chance to work as a unit to shut him down.
"It's about limiting his opportunities and time with the ball. You don't want him getting the ball with plenty of time to think and plenty of space to move.
"He's a great player, he'll probably go down as an Immortal. I've got to make sure every game I play against him is one of my best.
"It's Origin. You have to lift for it and it's those contests which [decide] the games, those one-on-one battles, and you've got to try and win your one-on-one battle and that's what I try to do."
He was also understandably glad to have his brother back in Origin camp as a roommate.
"It's good to have him back after the one game, straight back in. I wasn't sure if he would be picked. He loves these types of games and is a proven performer. He gives the boys a lift as well with his experience."
Brett Morris said he is just as comfortable on either side of the field.
"I've played left and right in Origins and Test football so I'm not too fazed where Laurie wants to play me," he said.
This article first appeared on NRL.com