Earlier this week, we asked you to pick your Queensland Maroons side for Origin 1, and now, with the results decided, it’s time to reveal the team chosen by The Roar’s readers before Kevin Walters reveals his side on Monday.
Fullback: Billy Slater
Who gets Queensland’s fullback jersey has been one of the big talking points heading into the team announcement, but it’s a no-brainer for our readers. Billy Slater cruised into the no.1 jersey with 77 per cent of the vote, easily getting over the top of Darius Boyd, who picked up all the remaining votes bar two.
Wingers: Darius Boyd and Valentine Holmes
If Boyd didn’t get the fullback spot, he was always going to get a place on the wing, and that’s exactly what’ happened. Boyd picked up three-quarters of the vote here, while Valentine Holmes also earned a winger’s jersey with 59 per cent. Corey Oates (44%) was the next best option.
Centres: Will Chambers and Dane Gagai
With Greg Inglis out for the year due to injury, Chambers was an easy pick for most Roarers – only four percent of voters didn’t have him in their team. Dane Gagai, who has spent all of his Origins on the wing, was selected to partner Chambers in the centres with 64 per cent of the vote, while Justin O’Neill (26%) was the runner-up in the position.
Five-eighth: Johnathan Thurston
Injury or not, 78 per cent of Roarers want to see Thurston line up for the Maroons. If he isn’t able to prove his fitness in time for Game 1, club teammate Michael Morgan seems to be the natural successor, picking up 11 per cent of the vote, well ahead of Anthony Milford’s six per cent.
Halfback: Cooper Cronk
Two lonely voters picked Ben Hunt. Everyone else picked Cronk. I need say no more.
Hooker: Cameron Smith
The most surprising thing here was that four people didn’t have Smith in their side.
Props: Dylan Napa and Josh McGuire
With Matt Scott on the sidelines through injury, Roarers have decided Napa (61%) and McGuire (42%) are the men to lead the line for the Maroons. Josh Papalii and Nate Myles played out a dead heat for the runner-up spot with 30 per cent of the vote each.
Back-rowers: Matt Gillett, Josh Papalii and Sam Thaiday
It’s no surprise that Gillett, arguably the finest second-rower in the game at the moment, was the runaway leader in the back row. 97 per cent of Roarers picked the Bronco in their side, while Josh Papalii and Sam Thaiday shared the spoils for second with 52 per cent each. Josh McGuire (29%) and Aidan Guerra (23.8%) were the next-most favoured options in the back row.
Bench: Michael Morgan, Coen Hess, Jarrod Wallace and Jacob Lillyman
Queensland’s was a far more cut-and-dry case than New South Wales’ bench. Michael Morgan (65%) was the standout candidate, which was little surprise given the Cowboy’s versatility.
Coen Hess had the next-most votes with 41 per cent, and while Sam Thaiday would have been an interchange player were it not for his selection in the run-on side, Jacob Lillyman and Jarrod Wallace (both 31%) comfortably eased out Nate Myles (22%), Korbin Simms (21%) and Aidan Guerra (18%) for the final two bench spots.
So, with all that said and done, it leaves our Queensland team for Game 1 looking like this:
The Roar’s Queensland Maroons side for Origin 1
1. Billy Slater
2. Darius Boyd
3. Will Chambers
4. Dane Gagai
5. Valentine Holmes
6. Johnathan Thurston
7. Cooper Cronk
8. Dylan Napa
9. Cameron Smith
10. Josh McGuire
11. Sam Thaiday
12. Matt Gillett
13. Josh Papalii
14. Michael Morgan
15. Coen Hess
16. Jarrod Wallace
17. Jacob Lillyman