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NSW & QLD State of Origin teams

Who will represent the Blues? (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The State of Origin teams for 2019 will be announced very short, with New South Wales set to reveal their side around 6pm (AEST) on Sunday, May 26. Queensland will announce their squad at 9am on Monday, May 27.

2019 State of Origin teams

Rugby league fans can expect to see at least a handful of changes to the Queensland and New South Wales Origin teams in 2019. The Maroons will, at a minimum, have to find replacements for Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Valentine Holmes, while Brad Fittler won’t be able to call on the services of Jack de Belin and Tom Trbojevic.

NSW Blues
As the defending Origin champions, the Blues are in the unfamiliar position of looking to maintain a winning team, rather than replace a losing one.

There are a number of certainties to retain their places in the squad. Captain Boyd Cordner and Roosters teammate James Tedesco will be two of the first names on Brad Fittler’s list, and hooker Damien Cook won’t be too far behind, while Jake Trbojevic and Tyson Frizell are also almost guaranteed a spot.

Jake’s brother Tom, who lined up at winger last year, was also likely to be picked again, but a hamstring injury sustained in Round 4 has almost certainly put him out of contention.

There are some serious question marks over the incumbent halves pairing. Panthers duo James Maloney and Nathan Cleary have both had poor starts to the 2019 NRL season with their club, and are under pressure to lift their form and keep their blue jerseys.

Luke Keary would appear an obvious choice under normal circumstances, but was recently ruled out after suffering an injury on the eve of the teams being named, perhaps opening the door for at least one of the incumbent pair to keep their spot. Adam Reynolds would be in contention after making a strong start to the year with Souths.

Mitchell Pearce is in a similar boat – having been in outstanding form for the Knights, he’d be another halfback contender, but has also copped an injury that will see him ruled out. Other halves options include Cody Walker, Luke Brooks, Chad Townsend and Mitchell Moses.

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Centre James Roberts is almost certain to lose his place in the side. Roberts was the least impactful Blues back last year and has been troubled by back and achilles injuries this season. His form has gone downhill to the point he’s no longer being selected by the Broncos.

With Curtis Scott and Jack Bird both out injured and Euan Aitken out of form, it leaves Fittler with few options to replace Roberts.

Tyrone Peachey, who filled the bench utility role for the Blues last year, could play in the centres but hasn’t been playing up to his potential this season. Jesse Ramien is emerging as a favourite for the position, while Cronulla veteran Josh Morris is another possibility. Jarrod Croker, Josh Dugan and Michael Jennings could front up as other options.

Peachey is looking unlikely to keep his bench spot. Canberra five-eighth Jack Wighton is favoured to replace him.

With Tom Trbojevic’s wing spot also up for grabs, Blake Ferguson is shaping as the frontrunner, although Nick Cotric is another contender after being in New South Wales’ extended squad in 2018.

Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell have both been quiet in the opening rounds of 2019 – at least by their standards – but neither are likely to be replaced after excelling in the 2018 series.

The Blues are unlikely to make many changes to a pack which did well in 2019, meaning incumbents Tariq Sims, David Klemmer, Paul Vaughan and Angus Crichton are all in pole position to keep their spots up front alongside Cordner, Jake Trbojevic and Frizell.

Fittler will have to make at least one change in the forwards, with Jack de Belin indefinitely suspended by the NRL due to an ongoing court case.

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Reagan Campbell-Gillard would appear best placed to replace de Belin after playing the series opener in 2018 before missing Games 2 and 3 through injury, although Cameron Murray’s excellent early-season form could see him handed a Blues jersey.

Other forward options include Victor Radley, Tevita Pangai Jr, Payne Haas and Matt Prior.

Ryan James was well entrenched in that group early in the season, but has since injured his ACL and will miss the remainder of 2019.

Queensland
The Maroons will head into 2019 with a revamped backline thanks to the absences of Billy Slater (retirement), Greg Inglis (retirement) and Valentine Holmes (NFL). Newcastle young gun Kalyn Ponga will almost certainly replace Slater at fullback, and Corey Oates and one of Kyle Feldt and Dane Gagai are the most likely combination on the wings.

Will Chambers will almost certainly line up in the centres, however, his partner is uncertain. The most likely outcome would see Dane Gagai, who played on the wing last year, move alongside Chambers, although Michael Morgan could also play there.

The biggest selection facing the Maroons is at hooker. Andrew McCullough played there following Cameron Smith’s representative retirement last year, but an MCL injury has ruled him out of the series. Jake Friend is also out of contention thanks to a ruptured bicep.

That leaves North Queensland rake Jake Granville as the last specialist hooker in contention, but his lack of form could see coach Kevin Walters turn to St George Illawarra halfback Ben Hunt, who has played at no.9 in the past. Parramatta hooker Reed Mahoney is another, albeit highly unlikely, option.

Chambers’ Melbourne club teammate Cameron Munster will keep his spot at five-eighth, but his halves partner is far from certain.

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Daly Cherry-Evans was the leading contender for the no.7 jersey, but a syndesmosis injury has him racing the clock to be fit for Game 1. The Manly skipper is likely to be given every chance to play after playing a starring role in last year’s Game 3 victory, but Michael Morgan is another excellent halfback if Cherry-Evans can’t overcome his injury.

Morgan is also an option to fill the bench utility role, given his versatility, as is Brisbane five-eighth Anthony Milford.

In the forward pack, Queensland will be boosted by the return of Matt Gillett, who missed all of the 2018 series through injury.

Jai Arrow will almost certainly keep his spot in the side, and the would be thought of Josh McGuire. The rest of the incumbent forwards – Jarrod Wallace, Josh Papalii, Gavin Cooper, Coen Hess, Tim Glasby and Felise Kaufusi – wouldn’t have their places guaranteed, although wholesale changes could come as a surprise.

One left-field option in the pack would be David Fifita. The young Brisbane forward has been impressive since making his first-grade debut last year, although at just 19 Walters may be reticent to blood him in Origin at such a young age.

Maroons generic

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

2018 State of Origin teams

Game 3

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Queensland Maroons Number New South Wales Blues
Billy Slater (c) 1 James Tedesco
Valentine Holmes 2 Tom Trbojevic
Dane Gagai 3 Latrell Mitchell
Will Chambers 4 James Roberts
Corey Oates 5 Josh Addo-Carr
Cameron Munster 6 James Maloney
Daly Cherry-Evans 7 Nathan Cleary
Jai Arrow 8 David Klemmer
Andrew McCullough 9 Damien Cook
Josh Papalii 10 Paul Vaughan
Gavin Cooper 11 Boyd Cordner (c)
Felise Kaufusi 12 Tyson Frizell
Josh McGuire 13/15 Jake Trbojevic
Bench
Ben Hunt 14 Tariq Sims
Jarrod Wallace 15/13 Jack de Belin
Coen Hess 16 Angus Crichton
Tim Glasby 17 Tyrone Peachey
Reserves
Christian Welch 18 Ryan James

Queensland Maroons

1. Billy Slater (c), 2. Valentine Holmes, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Will Chambers, 5. Corey Oates, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Jai Arrow, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Josh Papalii, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Felise Kaufusi, 13. Josh McGuire, 14. Ben Hunt, 15. Jarrod Wallace, 16. Coen Hess 17. Tim Glasby

18th man: Christian Welch

» Expert reaction: Injuries blow Queensland’s plans out of the water

Queensland did the most un-Queensland of things and made a raft of changes to their side for Game 3, some due to injury, some due to form. Kalyn Ponga, who was sensational on his Origin debut in Game 2, and Greg Inglis were the most notable injured absentees, Ponga with a hamstring strain and Inglis with a broken thumb.

Inglis’ injury meant Billy Slater captained the side from fullback in his final ever appearance in the Origin arena.

With Inglis out, Dane Gagai shifted from the wing to the centres, where he partnered Will Chambers, and Broncos winger Corey Oates started out wide opposite Valentine Holmes.

Ben Hunt, who had a shocker of a Game 2 performance, was demoted to the bench utility role, with the previously unfavoured Daly Cherry-Evans coming into the side. He started alongside five-eighth Cameron Munster in the halves.

Jai Arrow and Josh Papalii, both of whom started from the bench in Games 1 and 2, were promoted to the run-on side in the front row alongside hooker Andrew McCullough, but the back row of Gavin Cooper, Felise Kaufusi and Josh McGuire remained unchanged.

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Joining Hunt on the bench were Jarrod Wallace, Coen Hess and Tim Glasby, the latter of whom replaced Dylan Napa in the 17. Napa had originally been named as Queensland’s 18th man, however a knee injury forced the prop from the side. Melbourne Storm front-rower Christian Welch took his place in the squad.

New South Wales Blues

1. James Tedesco, 2. Tom Trbojevic, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. James Roberts, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. James Maloney, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Boyd Cordner (c), 12. Tyson Frizell, 15. Jake Trbojevic, 13. Jack de Belin, 14. Tariq Sims, 16. Angus Crichton, 17. Tyrone Peachey

18th man: Ryan James

The Blues made just a couple of tactical alterations for Game 3, Tariq Sims coming in for Matt Prior in the only change to the side which won the Origin shield in Game 2 in Sydney. Boyd Cordner overcame some injury doubts to line up in the final match of the series, while Brad Fittler made one extra late change, starting Jake Trbojevic at lock and moving Jack de Belin to the bench.

With no injuries or form concerns for Fittler to worry about, he went with the same backline for all three games – James Tedesco, Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell, James Roberts and Tom Trbojevic – as well as an identical halves pairing of James Maloney and Nathan Cleary.

The only changes the Blues made came in the forwards. Matt Prior replaced the injured Reagan Campbell-Gillard in Game 2, but the Sharks veteran was overlooked for Game 3 after making his debut.

Paul Vaughan took Prior’s place in the starting front row alongside fellow prop David Klemmer and hooker Damien Cook, while Tariq Sims made his Origin debut from the bench. Angus Crichton and Tyrone Peachey both kept their place on the pine, while Prior has fallen out of the match-day 17.

Game 2

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The State of Origin teams for Game 2 of the 2018 series saw NSW make just one change to their side, Matt Prior in for the injured Reagan Campbell-Gillard, while the return of Billy Slater and injury to Michael Morgan led to a Queensland reshuffle.

New South Wales won the match 18-14 at ANZ Stadium, and therefore the 2018 series.

Queensland Maroons Number New South Wales Blues
James Tedesco 1 Billy Slater
Tom Trbojevic 2 Valentine Holmes
Latrell Mitchell 3 Greg Inglis (c)
James Roberts 4 Will Chambers
Josh Addo-Carr 5 Dane Gagai
James Maloney 6 Cameron Munster
Nathan Cleary 7 Ben Hunt
David Klemmer 8 Dylan Napa
Damien Cook 9 Andrew McCullough
Matt Prior 10 Jarrod Wallace
Boyd Cordner (c) 11 Gavin Cooper
Tyson Frizell 12 Felise Kaufusi
Jack de Belin 13 Josh McGuire
Bench
Paul Vaughan 14 Kalyn Ponga
Jake Trbojevic 15 Josh Papalii
Angus Crichton 16 Coen Hess
Tyrone Peachey 17 Jai Arrow
Reserves
Tariq Sims 18th man Tim Glasby
Ryan James 19th man N/A
Luke Keary 19th man N/A

New South Wales Blues Origin 2 team news

Blues Game 2 line-up
1. James Tedesco, 2. Tom Trbojevic, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. James Roberts, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. James Maloney, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Matt Prior, 11. Boyd Cordner (c), 12. Tyson Frizell, 13. Jack de Belin

Interchange: 14. Paul Vaughan, 15. Jake Trbojevic, 16. Angus Crichton, 17. Tyrone Peachey.

Reserves: Ryan James, Tariq Sims, Luke Kearey

» New South Wales Blues Origin 2 team: expert reaction

NSW’s strong performance in Game 1 would usually have led to an unchanged team, however, a broken jaw for Reagan Campbell-Gillard led to 31-year-old Matt Prior getting a debut place in the squad.

Prior was the shock inclusion to the original 20-man squad, replacing Campbell-Gillard, who missed the rest of the Origin series. Fellow reserve forwards Ryan James and Tariq Sims were also in the mix for Campbell-Gillard’s spot, but were overlooked for Prior. Both forwards, as well as Roosters half Luke Kearey, stayed with the squad until gameday.

James Maloney and Latrell Mitchell both had injury concerns, but were given the thumbs up on their fitness.

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Queensland Maroons Origin 2 team news

Maroons Game 2 line-up
1. Billy Slater, 2. Valentine Holmes, 3. Greg Inglis (c), 4. Will Chambers, 5. Dane Gagai, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Dylan Napa, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Jarrod Wallace, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Felise Kaufusi, 13. Josh McGuire.

Interchange: 14. Kalyn Ponga, 15. Josh Papalii, 16. Coen Hess, 17. Jai Arrow.

Reserves: 18. Tim Glasby

» Queensland Maroons Origin 2 team: expert reaction

Queensland made a couple of changes to their side, with fullback Billy Slater, who was a late withdrawal from Game 1 due to a hamstring injury, making his return.

The superstar fullback hadn’t played for the Storm since being withdrawn from Origin, but started Game 2 at ANZ Stadium.

Newcastle Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga made his debut from the bench, filling in at lock during the game. He is expected to be the Maroons first choice fullback in 2019.

Slater’s fill-in from Game 1, Michael Morgan, was ruled out of Game 2 and the remainder of the NRL season after injuring his bicep during Round 15 when he was playing for the North Queensland Cowboys against the New Zealand Warriors in Townsville.

The bench utility in Game 1 of the series, Anthony Milford, was also been left out of the Queensland squad.

Despite some concern over an ankle injury, Dylan Napa was named and took his place in the starting side.

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Melbourne Storm prop Tim Glasby, who made his Origin debut last year, was called up to the squad as 18th man.

Game 1

Queensland Maroons Number New South Wales Blues
James Tedesco 1/14 Michael Morgan
Tom Trbojevic 2 Valentine Holmes
Latrell Mitchell 3 Greg Inglis (c)
James Roberts 4 Will Chambers
Josh Addo-Carr 5 Dane Gagai
James Maloney 6 Cameron Munster
Nathan Cleary 7 Ben Hunt
David Klemmer 8 Dylan Napa
Damien Cook 9 Andrew McCullough
Reagan Campbell-Gillard 10 Jarrod Wallace
Boyd Cordner (c) 11 Gavin Cooper
Tyson Frizell 12 Felise Kaufusi
Jack de Belin 13 Josh McGuire
Bench
Paul Vaughan 14/19 Anthony Milford
Jake Trbojevic 15 Josh Papalii
Angus Crichton 16 Coen Hess
Tyrone Peachey 17 Jai Arrow
Reserves
Tariq Sims 18th man Kalyn Ponga
Nick Cotric 19th man N/A

Queensland Maroons Origin 1 team news

Maroons Game 1 squad
1. Michael Morgan (Billy Slater), 2. Valentine Holmes, 3. Greg Inglis (c), 4. Will Chambers, 5. Dane Gagai, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Dylan Napa, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Jarrod Wallace, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Felise Kaufusi, 13. Josh McGuire.

Interchange: 14. Anthony Milford, 15. Josh Papalii, 16. Coen Hess, 17. Jai Arrow.

» Queensland Maroons Origin 1 team: expert reaction

The Maroons battled some serious injury issues before Origin 1. Billy Slater was ruled out with a hamstring injury, but star winger Dane Gagai made the starting team despite carrying a dislocated finger. Michael Morgan started at fullback in Slater’s place, with Anthony Milford stepping into the utility role on the bench.

Josh McGuire missed plenty of footy for the Broncos with an ankle injury, and there were question marks over the fitness of new halfback Ben Hunt, with Milford running plays for the Maroons in their first week of training. However, both were passed fit to play in Game 1.

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Greg Inglis was named as the new captain of the Queensland Maroons, taking over as the side’s skipper following the shock representative retirement of Cameron Smith a few weeks out from the series opener. Inglis was also coming back into the squad after missing all of the 2017 series with injury.

Kevin Walters’ side for Game 1 featured three debutants: hooker Andrew McCullough, who replaced Smith in the number 9 jersey, and forwards Jai Arrow and Felise Kaufusi. Josh McGuire was named at lock, starting the game after overcoming an ankle injury which plagued him in the weeks leading up to the squad announcement.

Ben Hunt and Cameron Munster formed the new halves combination for the Maroons following the rep retirements of Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk, and the side went with a left-field goalkicking in winger Valentine Holmes.

Gagai lined up on the wing for the Maroons opposite Holmes, and Inglis was partnered by Will Chambers in the centres, meaning there was no room in the squad for Darius Boyd.

Up front, Jarrod Wallace and Dylan Napa were the starting props, with veteran metre-eater Matt Scott overlooked to make his comeback after missing last year’s series due to injury, while Kaufusi, McGuire and Gavin Cooper started in the back row.

Anthony Milford was named as Queensland’s bench utility, and he was joined by Josh Papalii, Coen Hess and Arrow in the reserves.

To go with the retirements of Smith, Thurston and Cronk, Slater also announced 2018 will be his last series in a Maroon jumper, with the champion fullback set to pull the pin on his representative career.

Cameron Munster Queensland Maroons State of Origin 2017

(AAP Image/Darren England)

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Blues Game 1 squad
1. James Tedesco, 2. Tom Trbojevic, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. James Roberts, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. James Maloney, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11. Boyd Cordner (c), 12. Tyson Frizell, 13. Jack de Belin.

Interchange: 14. Paul Vaughan, 15. Jake Trbojevic, 16. Angus Crichton, 17. Tyrone Peachey.
18th man: Tariq Sims
19th man: Nick Cotric

» New South Wales Blues Origin 1 team: expert reaction

There was barely a surprise when the Blues team was formally announced for Game 1, after their 17 for the series opener was leaked the evening before the official announcement.

The Blues, under new coach Brad Fittler, made plenty of changes for the 2018 series, with New South Wales attempting to turn around three straight series losses by naming a record 11 debutants for the opener at the MCG.

All of Tom Trbojevic, Latrell Mitchell, James Roberts, Josh Addo-Carr, Nathan Cleary, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Damien Cook, Jack de Belin, Tyrone Peachey, Paul Vaughan and Angus Crichton were handed debuts.

James Tedesco, who started at fullback, was among the surviving members of the team, with James Maloney the only other in the back seven to back up from last year.

Up front, David Klemmer, Tyson Frizell, Jake Trbojevic and captain Boyd Cordner survived the axe.

Of the biggest changes, Nathan Cleary joining Panthers teammate Maloney in the halves was the most notable. The youngster was into just his third season at NRL level and sat out for two months with injury early in 2018, but Fitler saw enough to include him.

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The other member of the spine was South Sydney Rabbitohs hooker Damian Cook, who won the race for the number nine jersey with St George’s Cameron McInnes missing out.

In the backline, wingers Josh Addo-Carr and Tom Trbojevic made their debuts at the MCG, with Trbojevic impressing despite playing out of position ahead of Canberra boom youngster Nick Cotric. They were joined in the centres by Latrell Mitchell and James Roberts.

Jack de Belin and Paul Vaughan were the only two players to make the 17 out of the Dragons pack, with the former starting at lock ahead of Jake Trbojevic, who came from the bench. Vaughan started on the pine alongside utility Tyrone Peachey and Angus Crichton.

Starting up front were Reagan Campbell-Gillard and David Klemmer, and there were familiar faces in the second row with Tyson Frizell to join the skipper.

The Blues also named two back-up options as injury cover, with Dragons second-rower Tariq Sims included alongside the aforementioned Cotric in the 19-man squad. However, with NSW injury-free before the match, neither player was needed for Game 1.

James Maloney NSW Blues State of Origin NRL Rugby League 2017

(AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

State of Origin 2017 teams
The 2017 State of Origin teams for the third game of the series were announced on Monday, July 3, and Queensland evidently got the better of the selections, the Maroons cruising to a 22-6 win in Game 3 to claim the Origin shield.

2017 State of Origin Game 3 teams

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Queensland Maroons

Queensland Maroons side for State of Origin Game 3
1. Billy Slater, 2. Valentine Holmes, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Michael Morgan, 5. Dane Gagai, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Dylan Napa, 9. Cameron Smith (capt), 10. Jarrod Wallace, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Josh McGuire.

Interchange: 14. Ben Hunt, 15. Josh Papalii, 16. Coen Hess, 17. Tim Glasby.

18th man: Felise Kaufusi.

» Queensland Maroons side: expert reaction

New South Wales Blues

New South Wales Blues side for State of Origin Game 3
1. James Tedesco, 2. Brett Morris, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Jarryd Hayne, 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. James Maloney, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. Aaron Woods, 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Andrew Fifita, 11. Boyd Cordner (c), 12. Josh Jackson, 13. Tyson Frizell.

Interchange: 14. David Klemmer, 15. Wade Graham, 16. Jake Trbojevic, 17. Jack Bird.

18th man: Jack de Belin.

» Blues team for Game 3: Expert Reaction

The Queensland Maroons were forced to make two changes from the side that won Game 2, with both Johnathan Thurston (shoulder, season) and Darius Boyd (broken thumb, six weeks) ruled out through injury. In their place were two debutants; Ben Hunt of the Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm utility Cameron Munster.

In a somewhat surprising selection move, Munster was named to start at five-eighth, pushing Morgan out to the centres. While the move gave Queensland an all-Melbourne Storm spine of Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and Munster, it put Morgan up against Josh Dugan despite having never played an NRL game in the centres.

Slater was under some doubt for the decider with an ankle injury, but was cleared to play ahead of kick-off.

The Blues named the same 17 for the third time this series, going through an entire Origin year unchanged for the first time since 1996. This was in spite of a number of injury concerns around the squad.

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Skipper Boyd Cordner had been battling a calf injury since Game 2. Similarly, Dragons pair Tyson Frizell (rib cartilage) and Josh Dugan (corked thigh) were in doubt before suiting up on game day, and James Tedesco, who hadn’t played for the Wests Tigers since tweaking his ankle in Origin 2, also maintained his spot in the starting side.

Jack de Belin was named as 18th man for the Blues despite carrying a minor injury of his own.

Game 3 result: The Queensland Maroons have won Origin 3 22-6, sealing their 11th series win since 2005 with a 2-1 victory across the three games this year.

2017 State of Origin Game 2 teams

New South Wales Blues

New South Wales Blues team for State of Origin Game 1 2017
1. James Tedesco, 2. Blake Ferguson, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Jarryd Hayne, 5. Brett Morris, 6. James Maloney, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. Aaron Woods, 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Andrew Fifita, 11. Josh Jackson, 12. Boyd Cordner (c), 13. Tyson Frizell

Interchange: 14. David Klemmer, 15. Wade Graham, 16. Jake Trbojevic, 17. Jack Bird

18th man: Matt Moylan
19th man: Trent Merrin
20th man: Tom Trbojevic

» Blues team for Game 2: Expert Reaction

Queensland Maroons

Queensland Maroons team for State of Origin Game 2 2017
1. Billy Slater, 2. Valentine Holmes, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Darius Boyd, 5. Dane Gagai, 6. Johnathan Thurston, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Dylan Napa, 9. Cameron Smith (c), 10. Jarrod Wallace, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Josh McGuire

Interchange: 14. Michael Morgan, 15. Josh Papalii, 16. Coen Hess, 17. Tim Glasby

18th man: Cameron Munster

» Maroons team for Game 2: Expert Reaction

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Queensland made seven changes to the side that went down in the first game of the series, naming four debutants – Valentine Holmes, Coen Hess, Tim Glasby and Jarrod Wallace – to face the Blues.

The Maroons also brought back a number of players with Origin experience for the must-win match: North Queensland’s Gavin Cooper, as well as the vastly experienced Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater. Slater’s selection pushed Darius Boyd to the vacant centre spot with Dane Gagai keeping his position on the wing opposite Holmes.

Of the seven omissions from the Game 1 team, only one – Anthony Milford – was forced by injury. The remaining six – backs Corey Oates and Justin O’Neill and forwards Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday, Aidan Guerra and Jacob Lillyman – were all unforced changes that selectors opted to make.

On the other hand, the Blues, for the first time in 21 years, named an unchanged team for State of Origin 2, with coach Laurie Daley opting to name the same 17 that pulled off a surprising 28-4 victory in Game 1 of the series.

As such, James Tedesco was named fullback, with Brett Morris and Blake Ferguson on the wings. Jarryd Hayne and Josh Dugan were named in the centres, while Mitchell Pearce became the Blues’ most-capped halfback in Origin history. He was be partnered by James Maloney in the halves.

Up front, hooker Nathan Peats was joined by Aaron Woods and Andrew Fifita in the front row. Boyd Cordner captained the side from the second row, where he was joined by Tyson Frizell and Josh Jackson.

Jack Bird, Jake Trbojevic, David Klemmer and Wade Graham were named on the bench, while Matt Moylan, Jack De Belin and Tom Trbojevic were the extra men named in the squad. However, with De Belin unable to overturn a one-match suspension for dangerous contact in the week leading up to Origin 2, Trent Merrin as rushed into the NSW squad as 19th man.

2017 State of Origin Game 1 teams

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Queensland Maroons

Queensland Maroons team for State of Origin Game 1 2017
1. Darius Boyd, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Justin O’Neill, 5. Dane Gagai, 6. Anthony Milford, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Dylan Napa, 9. Cameron Smith (C), 10. Nate Myles, 11. Josh Papalii, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Josh McGuire.

Interchange: 14. Michael Morgan, 15. Sam Thaiday, 16. Aidan Guerra, 17. Jacob Lillyman.

18th man: Jarrod Wallace.

» Maroons team for Game 1: Expert Reaction

New South Wales Blues

New South Wales Blues team for State of Origin Game 1 2017
1. James Tedesco, 2. Blake Ferguson, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Jarryd Hayne, 5. Brett Morris, 6. James Maloney, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. Aaron Woods, 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Andrew Fifita, 11. Josh Jackson, 12. Boyd Cordner (c), 13. Tyson Frizell

Interchange: 14. David Klemmer, 15. Wade Graham, 16. Jake Trbojevic, 17. Jack Bird

18th man: Matt Moylan
19th man: Jordan McLean
20th man: Jack De Belin

» Blues team for Game 1: Expert Reaction

For the Maroons, some notable exclusions from the team in Game 1 were Billy Slater, in what coach Kevin Walters said was “the hardest decision I’ve had to make”, and Johnathan Thurston, who was ruled out of the series opener after failing to overcome a shoulder injury sustained during the Anzac Test against New Zealand.

Thurston’s unavailability for Game 1 meant his streak of 36 straight Origin matches came to an end.

Anthony Milford made his Queensland debut at No.6 in place of Thurston and Dylan Napa was also been named for the Maroons for the first time to start in the front row.

The first casualty of the 2017 series was Greg Inglis who was ruled out for the season. Inglis suffered a knee injury in the Rabbitohs’ opening round clash against the Tigers, tearing his ACL and putting him out of action before the season barely started.

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A mainstay in Queensland’s Origin side, Inglis will miss the entire series for the first time in his state representative career. He has only missed a total of three games across the 11 series that have been played since making his debut for the Maroons in 2006.

Cowboys stalwart Matt Scott has also been ruled out of the 2017 series after the veteran’s 14th season in the NRL was cut short in just his second game. Scott went down in the Cowboys’ 21-20 golden-point win over the Broncos and scans confirmed a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

For New South Wales, Boyd Cordner was announced as the new Blues captain for the first game of the 2017 series, while Mitchell Pearce returned to the side after spending last year’s series in the Origin wilderness. Pearce lined up with former club teammate and incumbent playmaker James Maloney in the halves.

With Paul Gallen retiring from the representative scene at the end of the 2016 season, Cordner was announced as the new captain ahead of Aaron Woods, who attended the State of Origin launch alongside coach Laurie Daley earlier in the year.

Cordner was part of a strong looking New South Wales back row, with Josh Jackson lining up on the other edge and Tyson Frizell playing at lock.

Robbie Farah and Michael Jennings were the key casualties from the 2016 series, with their respective representative careers looking over.

Nathan Peats was one of only two Blues players on debut in Game 1, replacing Farah at hooker, while youngster Jake Trbojevic made his first appearance from the interchange bench.

James Tedesco made his second Origin appearance at fullback, while new Cronulla Sharks recruit Josh Dugan retained his spot in the centres alongside a returning Jarryd Hayne.

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Blake Ferguson is another to keep his spot in the squad, playing outside Dugan on the wing in what has been a successful combination for the Australian national team, while veteran Canterbury Bulldogs winger Brett Morris lined up on the other wing.

Aaron Woods overcame an injury to book his spot in the front row and started the game alongside Andrew Fifita.

Jake Trbojevic was joined on the bench by utility Jack Bird, who made a solid start to his Origin career in 2016, along with Wade Graham and front-rower David Klemmer.

Matt Moylan, who played in the halves during a victorious Game 3 effort in 2016, was relegated to 18th man, joined by Jordan McLean and Jack De Belin as the extras in the Blues squad.

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