NSW captain Boyd Cordner has ruled himself out of the rest of the State of Origin series after the latest in a series of head knocks.
Cordner came off the field in the first half of the opening State of Origin game in Adelaide, but returned after passing a HIA test and finished the game.
This was his fourth concussion scare in recent months.
“As hard as it was, it is the right call based on the fact that I have had a few knocks this year,” Cordner said in a statement.
“I feel really good after Wednesday’s game; I’ve pulled up fine. I have no concerns about the knock in game one. I passed the HIA test and was happy to return to the field.
“The decision is more precautionary than anything. It has been a big year and now I can just rest up and relax with a good break coming up. I will be leaving camp today.”
Cordner will now miss the final two games of the series — in Sydney on November 11 and in Brisbane on November 18.
The Blues stalwart suffered his first bout of concussion in the Sydney Roosters’ round eight loss to Melbourne.
He returned a fortnight later but copped a knock to the head in training.
Cordner sat out for a further five weeks, consulting a specialist about headaches, before returning in round 16.
He suffered yet another knock against the Knights in round 18.
NSWRL chief executive David Trodden said everyone involved with the organisation and the team was fully supportive of Cordner’s decision to withdraw.
“The welfare of our players is always of the utmost importance in our minds,” Trodden said.
“Boyd’s decision after consulting with team doctor Nathan Gibbs and coach Brad Fittler, is the appropriate one and we fully support him and wish him a restful off-season.”
NSW has named a 21-man squad for game two, with James Tedesco taking over as captain.
Dale Finucane is back on the bench, while Nathan Brown and Isaah Yeo are in line to make their Origin debuts.
NSW squad: James Tedesco; Daniel Tupou; Clint Gutherson; Jack Wighton; Josh Addo-Carr; Cody Walker; Nathan Cleary; Daniel Saifiti; Damien Cook; Payne Haas; Angus Crichton; Tyson Frizell; Jake Trbojevic; Dale Finucane; Junior Paulo; Nathan Brown; Isaah Yeo; Luke Keary; Reagan Campbell-Gillard; Cameron McInnes; Stephen Crichton.