Edwards and Martin
Penrith are backing Dylan Edwards (l) and Liam Martin (r) to be fit for State of Origin II. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS
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Panthers back Martin, Edwards to be fit for Origin II

George Clarke June 8, 2024

Liam Martin and Dylan Edwards are both expected to be fit for selection for the second State of Origin fixture, Penrith coach Ivan Cleary has revealed.

NSW back-rower Martin picked up a toe injury stemming from Wednesday’s series-opening 38-10 loss to Queensland, while fullback Edwards missed the chance to make his Blues debut after he was ruled out with a quad issue.

Neither are expected to feature in the Panthers’ clash with Manly on Sunday but Cleary hopes the duo are a chance to take the field in the following week’s trip to face Newcastle. 

Their anticipated inclusions will be music to the ears of Blues coach Michael Maguire whose side head to Melbourne’s MCG on June 26 fighting to keep the series alive. 

“It’s nothing too long term (for Martin) I don’t think, he was just a bit sore coming out of the other night. He should be fine (for Origin II),” Cleary said on Saturday. 

“Dyl has had a couple of runs since it happened and, again, it’s not a serious injury but the timing wasn’t great.

“In terms of risk factor, the Blues they probably had to make that call but Dyl will definitely be fit for game two and he’ll be right to go for us next week.” 

Cleary will have to take a health check on Isaah Yeo, Brian To’o and Jarome Luai ahead of Sunday’s clash with Manly, who will be doing similar with Blues captain Jake Trbojevic and Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans. 

Either way Cleary will be seeking a response after a 32-18 loss to the Sea Eagles earlier in the season.

The Panthers suffered a disappointing 22-10 loss to St George Illawarra in their last outing and such is their ability to bounce back, Penrith have lost consecutive games just twice in the last five years. 

“Like many teams throughout the competition, certainly their best is very challenging,” Cleary said.

“They’ve got some terrific talent in that team and they are always a challenge.”