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He was to arrive from Auckland early this morning in time for the team's final training session at Leichhardt Oval before tomorrow night's opening pool game against Australia (9pm kick-off, local time).
Blair (33), with 48 tests and 311 NRL appearances to his name, comes in for would-be debutant Braden Hamlin-Uele.
The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks interchange forward will sit out the World Cup Nines to prepare for the tests to follow against the Kangaroos and the Great Britain Lions.
Blair had an eventful last 24 hours before joining the team, flying home to Auckland just yesterday after a family holiday on the Gold Coast and then being booked on an early flight to Sydney today.
Earlier in the week Sydney Roosters forward Zane Tetevano and Canberra Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad replaced the unavailable James Fisher-Harris and Jordan Rapana.