Selecting the NSW Origin side: Six rules to ensure ongoing failure

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    With Bob Fulton out and Peter Sterling into a chair at the selectors’ table, it is more important than ever NSW don’t forget past lessons which will ensure another State of Origin loss.

    Failure to do so may result in a NSW series win given the ageing Queensland line-up and injured troops (Matt Scott, Greg Inglis and potentially Johnathtan Thurston).

    These rules are tried and tested, having achieved amazing results over the last 11 years.

    Rule 1: Select as many of your backline out of position as possible
    This is made a little trickier given James Tedesco is likely to be the fullback and blake Ferguson is going to fill one wing slot.

    Therefore, Josh Dugan and Jarryd Hayne become the out-of-position centres, Matt Moylan slots in at five-eighth and the remaining wing spot goes to Jack Bird.

    Rule 2: Ensure your captain will be a jerk to the referees
    The last thing NSW want is a captain who will give the team a shot at favourable interpretations by talking to the referees with respect. Paul Gallen did this job with aplomb for several years. However, unless he is going to arise phoenix-like out of representative retirement, a new captain needs to be found.

    There can only be one man to perform, under pressure, to Gallen-like levels of referee disrespect and whinging. That man is Robbie Farah and he slots in at hooker with the ‘c’ beside his name.

    Rule 3: The forward pack should show as little variation in playing style as possible
    A varied backrow with a skilled edge player, a defensive-minded, 80-minute motor, and an effective middle-third player (see Queensland backrow with Josh Papalii, Matt Gillett and Josh McGuire) is an effective weapon come Origin.

    Props may also complement each other’s playing styles. The impact of individual players ánd synergistic pairings can be nullified by eliminating as much variety as possible from your forward pack. To that end, the most homogenous forward pack I can come up with is Aaron Woods, James Tamou, Boyd Cordner, Josh Jackson and Trent Merrin – they fill the starting spots.


    AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

    Rule 4: The utility player should not fit the needs of the team
    Preferably, the utility will cover a position player that plays 80 minutes and will be on the field for less than ten minutes.

    Dylan Walker played this role to perfection last year and it will be hard to top his performance. I’m going to go a little-left field though and select Cody Walker. If Moylan or James Maloney isn’t selected in the run-on team, either could also fill this role.

    Rule 5: Select bench impact players likely to give away penalties and make errors at crucial times
    Dave Taylor was incredibly skilled at this job for Queensland for several series before succumbing to white-line fever. David Klemmer and Andrew Fifita fill this need for the Blues.

    Rule 6: Pick Mitchel Pearce
    Mitchell Pearce. NSW Origin representative 2008-15, 15 games played, 0 series wins.

    Best Origin moment: repeatedly sledging Thurston for being too old in a glorious 2015 Game 2 win for NSW. Unfortunately for Pearce, this was followed by the 2015 series decider where NSW was humiliated 52-6.

    Inspired by Pearce (we know this because Thurston informed Mitchell throughout the latter half of the game just how much his comments meant to him) JT was named man of the match. Queensland will not have forgotten.