South Sydney Rabbitohs stars Luke Keary and Dylan Walker have pulled out of this Sunday’s City-Country clash due to injury.
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Keary, who recently pledged his allegiance to New South Wales despite being born in Queensland, is suffering from a foot injury while Walker is struggling with a knee injury.
According to AAP, James Roberts will play in centre in place of in place of Walker, with in-form Canberra Raiders man Blake Austin set to replace Keary in the halves.
Keary’s absence will come as a big blow to his chances of playing in Game I of the Origin series, which is due to be played in a month’s time.
Meanwhile, Country has lost Newcastle Knights halfback Jarrod Mullen, after he suffered a head injury during his side’s two-point loss to the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday.
Exciting young Cronulla five-eighth Jack Bird will get his first start at senior representative level in place of the Knights star.
St George Illawarra hooker Mitch Rein has been named on the bench for Country following Mullen’s absence.