On Monday, we asked you to tell us the team you’d like to see walk out for the Blues in Game 1 this year against Queensland. Now, the results are in, and it’s time to reveal The Roar’s New South Wales squad as chosen by you, before the official team is unveiled on Monday.
Fullback: James Tedesco
No surprises here. The Wests Tigers’ custodian hasn’t been at his best this year, but Tedesco still picked up a whopping 80 per cent of the vote for the fullback jersey, easily beating out the likes of Jarryd Hayne, Josh Dugan and Matt Moylan. Hayne was the best of the rest with just under six per cent of the vote.
Wingers: Blake Ferguson and Jarryd Hayne
Ferguson was the obvious choice for his spot on the wing, the Kangaroos and Roosters flyer getting picked by four of every five Roarers. The second winger’s spot went to Hayne, who picked up 39 per cent of the vote. Brett Morris was next best with 30 per cent, and Tom Trbojevic also received plenty of love before being ruled out for the first two games.
Centres: Jack Bird and Josh Dugan
If there’s one spot in the backline where the New South Wales selectors are spoilt for choice, it’s in the centres, and that was reflected in our poll. Jack Bird (45%) was the most-supported contender, while Josh Dugan and Hayne finished in a dead heat for the second centre spot. Given Hayne had already locked down a spot on the wing, it’s Dugan who lines up alongside Bird in our side despite his current injury cloud.
Five-Eighth: James Maloney
The Cronulla playmaker will be one of the first names on Laurie Daley’s team sheet, if our side is anything to go by. Maloney was picked by three-quarters of Roarers, easily beating out Matt Moylan (9%) for the No.6 jersey.
Halfback: Mitchell Pearce
Despite the conjecture around whether Pearce is up to Origin standard, he was the consensus choice in our team, picking up 60 per cent of the vote. Adam Reynolds was supported by 19 per cent of Roarers, and 15 per cent preferred to see Maloney at halfback rather than five-eighth, but it’s Pearce who takes the seven jersey for us.
Hooker: Nathan Peats
The Titan is the man most Roarers want to see take the hooker’s spot for the Blues is Game 1. Peats was picked in half of the teams, with the remaining votes pretty evenly split between Robbie Farah, Cameron McInnes, Damien Cook and Peter Wallace.
Props: Andrew Fifita and Paul Vaughan
If Roarers get their way, the Blues will unleash wrecking-ball combo Fifita and Vaughan in the front row from kick-off in Game 1. Fifita was selected by 68 per cent of respondents, while Vaughan snuck into the second prop’s spot with 36 per cent of the vote. Coming up just short were David Klemmer (28%) and Aaron Woods (22%).
Second-rowers: Boyd Cordner, Tyson Frizell and Wade Graham
Boyd Cordner was the most-selected player in the entire poll with over 85 per cent of the vote here. There was little competition for the other two back-row spots, with Tyson Frizell (67%) and Wade Graham (58%) easily earning their places in the run-on side. Josh Jackson (29%) and Jake Trbojevic (22%) had the next-most votes.
Bench: David Klemmer, Jake Trbojevic, Shannon Boyd, Tyrone Peachey
The interchange positions were where things got a little tricky. David Klemmer easily booked his spot on the bench with 35 per cent of the vote, but Jack Bird, who had already been selected to start in the centres, was next best with 34 per cent. Wade Graham (25%) and Paul Vaughan (25%) would also have earned interchange spots were they not selected in the run-on side.
That leaves Jake Trbojevic (30%) and Shannon Boyd (23%) as the other two forwards on the bench. Josh Jackson had only one less vote than Boyd, but given the support for Bird, we decided that most fans want to see a utility player in the squad and passed over the Canterbury man as a result. The utility player with the most votes behind Bird was Panther Tyrone Peachey, who got ten more votes than his club captain Matt Moylan.
That means that Moylan and Jackson miss out, as does Wests Tigers captain Aaron Woods, leaving our side looking like this:
The Roar’s NSW Blues side for Origin 1
1. James Tedesco
2. Jarryd Hayne
3. Jack Bird
4. Josh Dugan
5. Blake Ferguson
6. James Maloney
7. Mitchell Pearce
8. Andrew Fifita
9. Nathan Peats
10. Paul Vaughan
11. Boyd Cordner
12. Wade Graham
13. Tyson Frizell
14. Tyrone Peachey
15. David Klemmer
16. Jake Trbojevic
17. Shannon Boyd
You’re welcome, Laurie.