NSW assistant coach Trent Barrett has defended the failure of Blues coach Ricky Stuart to attend the last scheduled press conference on the eve of Origin II.
Barrett filled in for Stuart after the NSW coach decided to withdraw from the press conference at the team's hotel in Homebush Bay.
Members of the Blues camp had been critical of Queensland coach Mal Meninga for sending Allan Langer to front the media the day before Origin I but Barrett said Stuart was under no obligation to attend.
"He has done more than enough I think to promote the game this week and it is indicative of having 84,000 people there tomorrow night," Barrett said.
Asked when Stuart had told him he was not attending the press conference, Barrett said: "About half an hour ago."
Stuart and Meninga have engaged in verbal warfare since the Maroons 18-10 win in Melbourne and Barrett admitted it was a factor in Stuart's absence at the press conference.
"yeh probably, but I don't know," Barrett said. "That is a question you can ask Ricky after we have hopefully won tomorrow night."
Barrett said NSW were expected to start with the team named 10 days ago but Aaron Woods, Jamie Buhrer and Brett Morris have been called into camp in case there are any late withdrawals due to injury.
The Blues will hold their final training session at ANZ Stadium at 6pm.
The story Pressure ramps up as Stuart fails to front Origin media conference first appeared on WA Today.