Matt Prior gets to fulfil a lifelong dream. (Brett Costello)
Matt Prior gets to fulfil a lifelong dream. (Brett Costello)

Bolt from the Blue: Prior wins frontrow race

BLUES bolter Matt Prior has achieved a boyhood dream by being parachuted into the NSW front-row by coach Brad Fittler.

A win for persistence, the 31-year-old's big-game experience was a major factor in his selection ahead of luckless Gold Coast prop Ryan James.

The duo were locked in a two-way battle to replace injured forward Reagan Campbell-Gillard after he suffered a broken jaw during Penrith's loss to the Roosters on Friday night..

But Fittler confirmed on Tuesday that the two-time premiership-winning Cronulla prop would be making his Origin debut on Sunday night at ANZ Stadium.

Fittler informed the NSW team of his decision on Tuesday afternoon with Prior's entry into the Origin annals greeted with cheers and high-fives.

The decision is another bitter blow for James who was overlooked for game one having earlier been informed by Fittler that he was in the side.

James had been emailed an itinerary and told to pack his bags ready to fly down to Sydney to join his Blues teammates.

The Titans skipper was packed and ready to head to the airport when he received a secondary phone call telling him not to worry.

Now he has been overlooked again.