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NSW & QLD State of Origin teams 2020

James Tedesco. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The 2020 State of Origin teams will begin to filter in over the coming weeks ahead of Origin 1 in early November.

Due to the series being played after the NRL grand final in consecutive weeks in November, rather than the usual three separate windows during the middle of the season, NSW coach Brad Fittler and Queensland coach Wayne Bennett will pick 27-man squads for the entire series.

The Blues are adding players to their squad each Sunday, picking players from teams who have been eliminated from the NRL finals. They currently have 20 players selected, with seven spots to be filled taken by players from the Panthers and Storm. They will, however, be without star back Tom Trbojevic, who was ruled out of the series through injury, and David Klemmer, who was a shock omission from Fittler’s squad.

Five players were included from the beaten preliminary finalists: two Canberra Raiders, Jack Wighton and Nick Cotric; and three South Sydney Rabbitohs, Damien Cook, Cody Walker and Cameron Murray.

Bennett has named 16 players to take part in the series, but the Maroons have been hit hard by the loss of Kalyn Ponga. The Knights fullback will miss the Origin in 2020 so to have surgery on his injured shoulder.

2020 State of Origin squads

New South Wales Blues Queensland Maroons
Nathan Brown Jai Arrow
Reagan Campbell-Gillard AJ Brimson
Damien Cook Patrick Carrigan
Boyd Cordner Daly Cherry-Evans
Nick Cotric Xavier Coates
Angus Crichton Lindsay Collins
Tyson Frizell Moeaki Fotuaika
Clint Gutherson Jake Friend
Payne Haas Harry Grant
Luke Keary Coen Hess
Zac Lomax Valentine Holmes
Cameron McInnes Ben Hunt
Cameron Murray Hymel Hunt
Junior Paulo Josh Kerr
Daniel Saifiti Edrick Lee
James Tedesco Phillip Sami
Jake Trbojevic 11 more to be named
Daniel Tupou
Cody Walker
Jack Wighton
Seven more to be named

New South Wales

New South Wales Blues Origin squad
Nathan Brown, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Damien Cook, Boyd Cordner, Nick Cotric, Angus Crichton, Tyson Frizell, Clint Gutherson, Payne Haas, Luke Keary, Zac Lomax, Cameron McInnes, Cameron Murray, Junior Paulo, Daniel Saifiti, James Tedesco, Jake Trbojevic, Daniel Tupou, Cody Walker, Jack Wighton (seven more to be named)

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Brad Fittler has so far named 20 players to his Origin squad, with seven more to be added after the NRL grand final.

The most recent additions come from the South Sydney Rabbitohs, who had Damien Cook, Cameron Murray and Cody walker selected, and the Canberra Raiders, who have two representatives in Nick Cotric and Jack Wighton.

Both clubs had fewer selections than the beaten semi-finalists, the Parramatta Eels and Sydney Roosters. The Roosters have five representatives: captain and second-rower Boyd Corndner, five-eighth Luke Keary, second-rower Angus Crichton, star fullback James Tedesco and winger Daniel Tupou.

There were four Eels selected in the wider squad: front-rowers Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo, edge forward Dylan Brown and fullback Clint Gutherson. However, it has been reported that Gutherson is likely to take the place in the centres left by Tom Trbojevic’s series-ending injury.

Of the other selections, Payne Haas, Daniel Saifiti, Tyson Frizell and Jake Trbojevic all played a part in the Blues’ 2019 series victory, and have all be named. Jake’s brother and Manly teammate Tom had initially been included in the squad, but was ruled out of the series after an injury-plagued 2020 and later replaced by the uncapped Zac Lomax.

Frizell and Jake Trbojevic have been regulars in the NSW forward pack in recent seasons and will likely make Fittler’s 17 for Game 1, as will impressive young prop Haas, who made his Origin debut last year.

Dragons hooker/lock Cameron McInnes is the other selection so far, but is likely to just be a depth player in the squad.

There have been a couple of eye-raising non-selections, too. Prop David Klemmer, one of the Blues best in the past two series victories, was a notable omission after the Knights’ season ended, while Sharks second-rower Wade Graham, another key player in the 2019 success, was also left out. Many were expecting Souths centre Campbell Graham to come into the squad after and excellent year, but he was overlooked by Fittler.

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Keary is the hot favourite to start at five-eighth for NSW following incumbent James Maloney’s move to the Super League, but some impressive late-season form from Cody Walker means there’s some competition for the no.6 jersey.

Similarly, Nathan Cleary is expected to be named halfback when the Game 1 teams are announced. The young Panthers playmaker started the first two matches of the 2019 series, but after suffering a bad ankle injury it was Mitchell Pearce who stepped in for the Game 3 victory, but the Newcastle veteran hasn’t been picked in the squad.

With Cotric selected, Josh Addo-Carr and Josh Mansour are two grand finalist backs who could still make the squad, but David Nofoaluma has been overlooked, the Tigers wide man not among the initial selections at the end of the home-and-away season.

Kotoni Staggs is another potential Origin debutant who’ll have to wait a while longer for a Blues jersey after he picked up an ACL injury in Round 20, ruling him out for nine months. Latrell Mitchell, who played four consecutive games for the Blues between 2019-20, is also unavailable due to a ruptured hamstring tendon.

Canberra five-eighth Jack Wighton made an impact from the centres last year and is likely to feature there again in 2020.

Others who are in contention for backline squad spots – although who are by no means certainties – include Melbourne fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen and young Panthers centre Stephen Crichton.

Looking to the forwards, and Klemmer and Graham join Paul Vaughan as members of last year’s series victory who won’t be in the squad.

There are plenty of options for Fittler to choose from in the back row and lock, with Cameron Murray set to back up from last year, and Penrith duo Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin are both chances of making an Origin debut after excellent years for the Panthers. Parramatta edge runner Ryan Matterson was left out of the squad.

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Dale Finucane is a likely inclusion. The Melbourne lock tore the muscle badly in mid-August, but with the Storm bringing him back for their finals campaign, he’s fit for Origin.

At hooker, incumbent Damien Cook has kept his place in the squad, and with McInnes already selected, it would seem Apisau Koroisau will be overlooked.

Nathan Cleary kicks for the Blues during State of Origin

Nathan Cleary. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Queensland Maroons

Jai Arrow, AJ Brimson, Moeaki Fotuaika, Phillip Sami, Valentine Holmes, Coen Hess, Xavier Coates, Patrick Carrigan, Edrick Lee, Hymel Hunt, Ben Hunt, Josh Kerr, Harry Grant, Daly Cherry-Evans, Lindsay Collins, Jake Friend (11 more to be named)

The Maroons have so far named 16 of a possible 27 players in their squad. They had initially included Kalyn Ponga, however, the star fullback will miss the series to have shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Four Gold Coast Titans are in the provisional squad, the most of any club. AJ Brimson is the favourite to claim the no.1 jersey, Jai Arrow is a nigh-on certainty to take a spot in the forward pack, Phillip Sami is an option in a backline decimated by injury and Moeaki Fotuaika is a chance to come into the front row.

Also named were Cowboys pair Coen Hess and Valentine Holmes, although the latter will miss Game 1 due to a suspension for a shoulder charge. Their club teammate, Josh McGuire, a Maroons regular in recent years, has been left out of the side, as has Titans prop Jarrod Wallace, as Bennett looks to refresh the Queensland line-up after successive series defeats.

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The Broncos and Dragons also have two players apiece in the side – youngsters Patrick Carrigan and Xavier Coates from Brisbane, and Ben Hunt and Josh Kerr from St George Illawarra – and there are two further Knights in addition to Ponga: backs Hymel Hunt and Edrick Lee.

Halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, as certain a starter as the Maroons have, hooker Harry Grant and Roosters duo Jake Friend and Lindsay Collins round out the initial 16 selections.

As for who takes up the remaining 12 spots, injuries have thrown some spanners in the works. All of Michael Morgan (shoulder), Anthony Milford (hamstring), Kyle Feldt (groin) and David Fifita (syndesmosis) have been ruled out for the three games.

There are some injury concerns around Cameron Munster, too, after the Melbourne playmaker injured his MCL for the third time this year in the Storm’s opening finals match of the year. He is expected to be fit for Origin, though, and will be picked in the halves alongside Cherry-Evans.

Backline stocks are very thin for Queensland, particularly with Ponga joining Feldt and Morgan on the injury list and Corey Oates out of form and out of the side. With Brimson, Lee, Coates, Hymel Hunt and Sami all selected, and Oates and Moses Mbye dropped, Dane Gagai and Penrith utility Kurt Capewell could both be picked as centre options, although the latter is also an option in the second row.

Hooker is a position of strength for the Maroons. While Ben Hunt has played there in the past and Grant had an excellent season for the Tigers, Bennett could still bring in Reed Mahoney, who remarkably has never played in State of Origin.

Up front, expect to see Josh Papalii, Christian Welch and Felise Kaufusi all join the likes of Carrigan and Arrow in the 27-man squad.

Melbourne edge forward Tino Fa’asuamaleaui has been in good form and is also set to be included. The same goes for Jaydn Su’A and Corey Horsburgh.

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Daly Cherry-Evans

Daly Cherry-Evans. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

2019 State of Origin teams

Game 3

NSW Number Queensland
James Tedesco (vc) 1. Cameron Munster
Blake Ferguson 2. Corey Oates
Tom Trbojevic 3/14 Moses Mbye
Jack Wighton 4. Will Chambers
Josh Addo-Carr 5. Dane Gagai
James Maloney 6. Corey Norman
Mitchell Pearce 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c)
Daniel Saifiti 8. Joe Ofahengaue
Damien Cook 9. Ben Hunt
David Klemmer 15/10 Josh Papalii
Boyd Cordner (c) 11. Felise Kaufusi
Tyson Frizell 12/18 Ethan Lowe
Jake Trbojevic 13. Josh McGuire
Bench
Dale Finucane 14/3 Michael Morgan
Paul Vaughan 10/15 Christian Welch
Cameron Murray 16. Tim Glasby
Wade Graham 17. David Fifita
18th men
Clint Gutherson Dylan Napa

Queensland
The Maroons were dealt an Origin 3-eve blow with experienced second rower Matt Gillett being ruled out of the decider through injury. The Brisbane veteran failed to finish Queensland’s Friday training session on account of a groin injury, one he wasn’t able to overcome in time for Game 3.

With Gillett out of the side, Ethan Lowe started in the second row, despite speculation that David Fifita might have been moved into the run-on side. Fifita remained on the bench in the no.17 jersey.

In another late change, Michael Morgan was moved from centre to the bench utility role, with Moses Mbye into the starting side. Morgan played at centre in the first two games of the series, but had played off the bench in Origin before.

With Kalyn Ponga out of Origin 3 with a calf injury, the Maroons had earlier been forced into a reshuffle for the decider.

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Ponga was replaced in the squad by debutant Corey Norman, but the St George half lined up at five-eighth instead of being a straight swap at fullback.

Cameron Munster, who wore the no.6 jersey in the first two games of the series, played at fullback.

Kevin Walters also swung a couple of changes to the Queensland forward pack, with Christian Welch making his debut after being part of the extended squad for their Game 2 loss, and Joe Ofahengaue drafted straight back in after missing Game 2 through injury.

Jarrod Wallace, who was ordinary off the bench in Game 2, was dropped along with Dylan Napa. Napa was brought back into the squad as a reserve following Gillett’s injury.

The rest of the pack, including Game 2 inclusion Tim Glasby, was retained, as was hooker Ben Hunt despite calls for the latter to be replaced.

New South Wales
After naming an unchanged side for Origin 3, NSW coach Brad Fittler was forced into two alterations due to suspension and injury.

There was considerable doubt over the fitness of halfback Nathan Cleary, with the Penrith youngster ultimately ruled out and replaced by maligned Newcastle half Mitchell Pearce.

Tariq Sims wasn’t able to play in the decider after being found guilty of grade one dangerous contact by the NRL judiciary. The Blues bench forward was initially handed a grade two charge following a high tackle on Michael Morgan during the Dragons’ Round 15 match against North Queensland and while it was downgraded, he was unable to successfully plead not guilty.

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David Klemmer made his Origin comeback in Sims’ place, having missed the Perth encounter through injury. Rather than a direct replacement on the bench though, Klemmer started Origin 3 in the front row alongside club teammate Daniel Saifiti.

Paul Vaughan was shifted to the pine to start on the bench despite having the no.10 on his back, just as he did in Game 2.

Other than that, the Blues went into the decider with the same side. James Tedesco, Josh Addo-Carr, Jack Wighton, Tom Trbojevic and Blake Ferguson formed the unchanged outside backline, whith James Maloney once again the five-eighth.

In the forwards, Saifiti lined up alongside Klemmer in the front row, with Damien Cook at hooker, Jake Trbojevic at lock, and Tyson Frizell and captain Boyd Cordner in the second row.

Dale Finucane, Cameron Murray and Wade Graham joined Vaughan on the bench, while Clint Gutherson was the 18th man.

NSW Blues

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Game 2

Queensland Maroons Number New South Wales Blues
Kalyn Ponga 1 James Tedesco (vc)
Corey Oates 2 Blake Ferguson
Michael Morgan 3 Tom Trbojevic
Will Chambers 4 Jack Wighton
Dane Gagai 5 Josh Addo-Carr
Cameron Munster 6 James Maloney
Daly Cherry-Evans (c) 7 Nathan Cleary
Dylan Napa 8 Daniel Saifiti
Ben Hunt 9 Damien Cook
Josh Papalii 10 Jake Trbojevic
Felise Kaufusi 11 Boyd Cordner (c)
Matt Gillett 12 Tyson Frizell
Josh McGuire 13 Dale Finucane
Bench
Moses Mbye 14 Paul Vaughan
Jarrod Wallace 15 Tariq Sims
Tim Glasby 16 Cameron Murray
David Fifita 17 Wade Graham
Reserves
Christian Welch 18 Ryan Matterson
Corey Norman 19 Clint Gutherson
Kurt Capewell 20
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New South Wales
After the Blues’ Game 1 loss, Brad Fittler made seven changes to his side for Origin 2 in Perth.

The biggest surprise was the axing of centre Latrell Mitchell, who put in a poor performance during Game 1, but still was expected to be selected. Josh Morris has also been dropped. The New South Wales backline took another bump with Raiders winger Nick Cotric also missing through a syndesmosis injury he sustained in Round 14.

Their replacements have been named as Blake Ferguson on the wing, while Game 1 utility Jack Wighton and Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic form the new centre pairing. Wighton hasn’t played at centre in the NRL since 2014, while Trbojevic, who starred on the wing last year before missing Game 1 with a hamstring injury, has only played four games in the position for his career.

It was appearing likely that Mitchell Pearce would make his Origin return in Perth, however, the Knights halfback was ruled out on the morning of selection with a hip injury.

Brad Fittler still chose to drop Cody Walker, with James Maloney coming into the Blues squad to reprise his series-winning halves partnership with Nathan Cleary.

Fittler was been forced into more changes in the forwards, as David Klemmer (broken wrist) and Payne Haas (hamstring strain) were ruled out with injury.

Knights prop Daniel Saifiti has come in as a surprise selection in the front row, while Dale Finucane joins the bench for the Blues in place of Haas.

The Blues have also added Tariq Sims to the bench as the effective replacement for Mitchell (with Wighton going into the centres), while Wade Graham, who has only had two games back in first grade since returning from a long injury lay-off, replaces the dropped Angus Crichton.

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The Blues made a late change to the structure of the side: pushing Jake Trbojevic to the front row, Dale Finucane into the starting side at lock, and Daniel Saifiti to the bench.

Ryan Matterson and Clint Gutherson are the two Blues reserves.

James Tedesco was named vice-captain of the side.

Queensland
Queensland cut their changes for Origin 2 to just two forced ones after winning the series opener.

Joe Ofahengaue (leg) and Jai Arrow (ankle) were ruled out of the side for Game 2, and were unlikely to return for Game 3, too.

The Maroons moved Dylan Napa from the bench to the front row, while 18th man Tim Glasby earned a promotion to the bench. He was joined by the recalled Jarrod Wallace on the pine. Napa was under some doubt for Game 2 with a broken wrist, but played.

Maroons players Dane Gagai (virus), Daly Cherry-Evans (ankle), Kalyn Ponga (calf), Dylan Napa (wrist) were in doubt to take their spot in the lineup, but played.

Amazingly, Moses Mbye played despite having gone through a near-death experience just two days prior, experiencing anaphylactic shock because of an allergic reaction.

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Christian Welch, Edrick Lee and Corey Norman were initially named to join the extended squad, although Lee pulled out with a leg injury.

Game 1

Queensland Maroons Number New South Wales Blues
Kalyn Ponga 1 James Tedesco
Corey Oates 2 Nick Cotric
Michael Morgan 3 Latrell Mitchell
Will Chambers 4 Josh Morris
Dane Gagai 5 Josh Addo-Carr
Cameron Munster 6 Cody Walker
Daly Cherry-Evans (c) 7 Nathan Cleary
Jai Arrow 8 David Klemmer
Ben Hunt 9 Damien Cook
Josh Papalii 10 Paul Vaughan
Felise Kaufusi 11 Boyd Cordner (c)
Matt Gillett 12 Tyson Frizell
Josh McGuire 13 Jake Trbojevic
Bench
Moses Mbye 14 Jack Wighton
Joe Ofahengaue 15 Payne Haas
Dylan Napa 16 Cameron Murray
David Fifita 17 Angus Crichton
Reserves
Tim Glasby 18 Ryan Matterson
Anthony Milford 19 Victor Radley
Kurt Capewell 20

Queensland Maroons
The Maroons headed 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 replaced Slater at fullback, while Corey Oates and Dane Gagai retained their place on the wings.

Given a lack of backline depth for Queensland, it was hardly a surprise to see Will Chambers placed straight into the centres, while Michael Morgan – who has played in the halves and as a utility previously – played in the centres.

The biggest selection question heading in was the fitness of Daly Cherry-Evans, however, he was picked in the halves alongside Cameron Munster, who was always going to be first picked. Not only did Cherry-Evans earn selection, but he was also been named as the side’s captain.

The headache of hooker was answered in the form of St George Illawarra Dragons half Ben Hunt, while Moses Mbye played off the bench as a utility option. It meant the Maroons went into Game 1 without a recognised hooker.

Josh Papalii and Jai Arrow lined up in the front row, while familiar faces Felise Kaufusi, Matt Gillett and Josh McGuire rounded out the starting pack.

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There was plenty of youth on the Queensland bench, with David Fifita and Joe Ofahengaue both listed to make their debuts in the State of Origin cauldron, while Dylan Napa was selected. Tim Glasby is the 18th man.

New South Wales
Brad Fittler took five debutants into Game 1, 2019, keeping with the ‘Baby Blues’ approach which served New South Wales so well the previous year. Rabbitohs duo Cody Walker and Cameron Murray, Canberra pair Nick Cotric and Jack Wighton and Brisbane youngster Payne Haas were the five uncapped players in the squad.

Boyd Cordner once again captained the side from the second row, where he was joined by lock Jake Trbojevic and St George Illawarra’s Tyson Frizell. Although Frizell sustained a concussion in his last game before the team announcement, he played.

Rounding out the forwards in the squad were props David Klemmer and Paul Vaughan, who started in the front row, Roosters second-rower Angus Crichton, and rookies Haas and Murray. The two debutants started on the bench with Crichton, with Wighton filling the bench utility role.

Nathan Cleary kept his place as the side’s halfback despite a tricky start to the year with Penrith, although the youngster’s selection case was helped by injuries to fellow no.7 contenders Adam Reynolds and Mitchell Pearce.

Walker was also a beneficiary of an injury, this time to Luke Keary. The Roosters star was expected to be picked at five-eighth, only to be ruled out with concussion days before the squad was announced, paving the way for 29-year-old Walker’s selection.

James Tedesco, Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell all, as expected, kept their places at fullback, wing and centre respectively. Veteran centre Josh Morris partnered Mitchell, and Cotric made his debut on the wing.

2018 State of Origin teams

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Game 3

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.

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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.

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.

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Game 2

The State of Origin teams for Game 2 of the 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 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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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.

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.

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Cameron Munster Queensland Maroons State of Origin 2017

(AAP Image/Darren England)

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 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.

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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 the season, but Fitler saw enough to include him.

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.

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