STATE RIVALRY IS BACK!!
Both the Queensland and New South Wales Teams for State of Origin 1 were named on Monday.
There have been some surprise selections for both states ahead of the series opener on Wednesday at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
For Queensland, veteran Billy Slater has been overlooked despite reaching top form in his return after two years out, with Darius Boyd retaining the fullback role. Australian winger, Valentine Holmes, was also not selected. Brisbane’s Korbin Sims and North Queensland’s Coen Hess were both potential picks, but missed out as well.
Cameron Smith will again captain Queensland again. They will go into this series without Matt Scott, Greg Inglis (injured) and Corey Parker (retired).
Brisbane’s Anthony Milford will make his Origin debut at five-eighth, with veteran playmaker, Johnathan Thurston ruled out with a shoulder injury, and will miss his first Origin since his debut way back in 2005. Gold Coast Prop, Jarrod Wallace has been called into the Maroons squad as 18th man. Manly’s’ Nate Myles has been named, despite failing to complete the Sea Eagles 30-10 win over the Gold Coast Titans last weekend.
Milford, and Sydney Roosters Prop, Dylan Napa are the debutants for the Maroons.
On the other side of the border, NSW have recalled, Sydney Roosters Halfback, Mitchell Pearce, and former San Francisco 49er, Jarryd Hayne.
Pearce missed last year’s series due to a series off- field incidents, with Adam Reynolds taking his place. Pearce will reunite in the halves alongside James Maloney.
Dragons fullback Josh Dugan was also selected, despite not playing a game in the last month. He fractured his cheekbone in Australia’s win over New Zealand and as a result, the Dragons have not allowed him to do any contact work , until the day before the game.If he gets through Origin, he is expected to back up for the Red V three days later, in their game against the Wests Tigers.
Hayne returns to the Blues side for the first time since 2014, after stints playing with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL, and Rugby Sevens in Fiji, before returning to the NRL in late 2016, with the Gold Coast Titans.
The major talking point was who would succeed Paul Gallen as the new captain, and for coach Laurie Daley, it was a no brainer, selecting Sydney Roosters co-captain, Boyd Cordner following the retirement of Paul Gallen.
NSW have also named two debutants, with Gold Coast’s’ Nathan Peats replacing Robbie Farah at hooker, and Manly’s Jake Trbojevic named on the bench. Trbojevic was impressive off the bench in Australia’s 30-12 win over New Zealand in Canberra, earlier in the month.
Penrith hooker, Peter Wallace, was set to be recalled after last playing Origin in 2009, but went off injured in the Panthers 30-20 win over the Newcastle Knights on Sunday.
Dragons prop, Paul Vaughan was also not selected, despite some scintillating form since his move from Canberra. Daley thought he wasn’t quite ready yet.
Penrith Captain Matt Moylan, Melbourne’s Jordan McLean, and St George Illawarra’s Jack de Belin, have been named as the shadow players.
Three local juniors, Tyson Frizell (Corrimal), Brett Morris (Kiama) and Jack Bird (Berkeley) have also been selected.
Queenslad won the 2016 Series, winning game one 6-4 in Sydney, 26-16 in Game Two in Brisbane, and NSW won the final game 18-14 in Sydney.
Game 1 Queensland v New South Wales, Wednesday May 31, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Game 2 New South Wales v Queensland, Wednesday June 21, ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Game 3 Queensland v New South Wales, Wednesday July 12, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Queensland are slight favourites at $1.87, with NSW at $1.95,
Queensland: 1. Darius Boyd (Brisbane, 26 Origins), 2. Corey Oates (Brisbane, 3 Origins), 3. Will Chambers (Melbourne, 4 Origins), 4. Justin O’Neill (North Queensland, 4 Origins), 5. Dane Gagai (Newcastle, 4 Origins), 6. Anthony Milford (Brisbane, 0 Origins), 7. Cooper Cronk (Melbourne, 19 Origins), 8. Dylan Napa (Sydney Roosters, 0 Origins), 9. Cameron Smith (c, Melbourne, 39 Origins), 10. Nate Myles (Manly, 31 Origins), 11. Josh Papalii (Canberra, 7 Origins), 12. Matt Gillett (Brisbane, 7 Origins), 13. Josh McGuire (Brisbane, 5 Origins). Interchange: 14. Michael Morgan (North Queensland, 5 Origins), 15. Sam Thaiday (Brisbane, 28 Origins), 16. Aidan Guerra (Sydney Roosters, 9 Origins), 17. Jacob Lillyman (NZ Warriors, 13 Origins). 18th man Jarrod Wallace (Gold Coast, 0 Origins). Coach Kevin Walters
NSW: 1. James Tedesco (Wests Tigers, 1 Origin), 2. Blake Ferguson (Sydney Roosters, 4 Origins), 3. Josh Dugan (St George Illawarra, 9 Origins), 4. Jarryd Hayne (Gold Coast, 20 Origins), 5. Brett Morris (Canterbury-Bankstown, 12 Origins), 6. James Maloney (Cronulla, 6 Origins), 7. Mitchell Pearce (Sydney Roosters, 15 Origins), 8. Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers, 11 Origins), 9. Nathan Peats (Gold Coast, 0 Origins), 10. Andrew Fifita (Cronulla, 7 Origins), 11. Josh Jackson (Canterbury-Bankstown, 6 Origins), 12. Boyd Cordner (c, Sydney Roosters, 6 Origins), 13. Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra, 2 Origins). Interchange: 14. David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown, 6 Origins), 15. Wade Graham (Cronulla, 1 Origin), 16. Jake Trbojevic (Manly, 0 Origins), 17. Jack Bird (Cronulla, 2 Origins). 18th man Matt Moylan (Penrith, 3 Origins) 19th Man Jordan McLean (Melbourne, 0 Origins) 20th Man Jack de Belin (St George Illawarra, 0 Origins). Coach Laurie Daley