Origin is a special competition, from its unique nature fostered by a state duopoly on the NRL to the passion it ignites that is generally reserved for only the fiercest international sporting rivalries.
It’s been billed as the ‘unloseable’ series for New South Wales, but recent injury and form dramas threaten to wreak havoc at the selection table for Brad Fittler.
The carnage from Magic Round was particularly tough on the Blues’ centre stocks. Latrell Mitchell is allegedly okay after fears he’d injured his groin or hip – but is he really 100 per cent?
With Jack Bird, Curtis Scott and Joey Leilua all near-certainties to miss, who do the Blues call up?
We got Roar rugby league expert Mary Konstantopoulos on the Game of Codes podcast to discuss Fittler’s selection headaches at the centres and halves.
Listen to the debate:
Apart from individual players, team selection philosophy went under the spotlight too – including the age-old debate of reputation versus form. How many brownie points should the halves pairing of James Maloney and Nathan Cleary really have given their iffy club form this season?
With Queensland looking weaker than ever this year, pundits are heavily backing the Blues to notch up a relatively easy series win – just their third since 2005.
Could selection dramas derail those plans?