Blues explode when Wighton contracts COVID

The NSW took a major blow ahead of the second State of Origin, with center Jack Wighton expected to be dropped from his mandatory COVID-19 showdown.

The Canberra ace will miss the Raiders’ clash with Newcastle on Sunday after contracting the virus, which forces him to spend seven days in isolation.

Manager Brad Fittler is set to name his Blues lineup on Sunday, with NSW needing victory in Perth next Sunday after Queensland won the series opener in Sydney.

Wighton was a certainty as the standout in their shocking 16-10 loss.

They are due to depart Sydney for Perth on Monday to begin preparations and Wighton could join the team later in the week, however it would be a huge gamble if he was willing to play Origin.

Wighton was transferred from his usual five-eighth role to the centers to cover the loss of injured stars Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic.

Mitchell has recovered from his hamstring injury but has yet to play an NRL game.

Penrith’s Stephen Crichton is the likely replacement for Wighton in the starting lineup.

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