Former NSW star Mark Gasnier, considered one of the Blues' centres of the State of Origin era, has been drafted into camp to give Orange product Jack Wighton and his three-quarter partner Tom Trbojevic a crash course in the position ahead of Sunday's second game of the series.
Neither Wighton nor Trbojevic play in that spot for their respective clubs and although they have both played there before and the latter is the incumbent Australian centre, the pair remains limited experience-wise.
Wighton and Trbojevic, combined, have started just 25 of 224 NRL appearances on the three-quarter-line, the former will play on the right on Sunday while the latter lines up on the crucial left edge.
The Orange product will mark Will Chambers while the latter faces Queensland counterpart Michael Morgan.
Gasnier spoke to the pair when the Blues gathered in Sydney on Sunday night and arrived at Perth in time for NSW's first field session on Tuesday, one of just three the side has in a shortened preparation for the second game.
"Gaz popped in (Sunday) night and had a bit of a chat with the centres, just getting them comfortable," Fittler said on Fox Sports' NRL 360.
"They've both played centres before and (Gasnier has)... got a bit of time off, so he's going to ... and hang around the team for a couple of days."
With seven changes made from the side that lost game one, including the sensational dropping of Roosters' young gun Latrell Mitchell, the comparative lack of preparation is far from ideal for the Blues.
Skipper Boyd Cordner said they'll need every minute of that preparation to ensure their combinations settle quickly, especially with Orange-born Penrith five-eighth James Maloney also joining the group.
Although, fortunately he plays alongside halfback Nathan Cleary at the Panthers and did so in last year's series-winning side too, with hooker Damian Cook there too.
"It's really critical, especially with (Maloney) coming in and being our half," Cordner said.
"I suppose it's good having (Cook), (James Tedesco), and (Nathan Cleary) back as well.
"But we need to work on our combinations on our left edge.
"It's a new-look side and we have to nail each session because it is a short preparation."
The second game of the series is at Perth's Optus Stadium on Sunday night, kicking off at 7.40pm (AEST).
- with Australian Associated Press
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