They were given next to no chance of winning a game this series, but somehow, Queensland have once again earned bragging rights in the traditional interstate showdown.
State of Origin is now less than a week away, and we want you to tell us who should be in the Maroons side for Game 1.
The squads for Origin were announced after last weekend’s NRL grand final, and it’s a very new-look Queensland camp. Not only are Wayne Bennett and Mal Meninga back on the coaching staff, Bennett taking over from Kevin Walters and Meninga coming in to assist the veteran boss, but there are also a plethora of potential debutants in the squad.
While Daly Cherry-Evans, Cameron Munster, Dane Gagai and Josh Papalii are all experienced campaigners at this level, the likes of AJ Brimson, Patrick Carrigan, Jaydn Su’A and, remarkably, Jake Friend have never worn the famed maroon jersey, and they’re only some of the uncapped squad members.
Part of the reason for the influx of Origin rookies is the number of injures to key players: Michael Morgan, Kalyn Ponga, Kyle Feldt, and David Fifita all would have certainly been picked had they been fit and healthy.
Even Corey Allan and Valentine Holmes, who are in the squad, are unavailable for Game 1 due to suspensions picked up in their final NRL games of the year for the Rabbitohs and Cowboys respectively.
So, with all that squad changeover, who do you think should be picked by Bennett to take to the field for the series opener in Adelaide next week? Select your team in the form below, then let us know your ideal line-up in the comments.