Trying to work out who has the best team when it comes to Origin is one of the toughest tasks in Rugby League.
Here’s our attempt at a combined XIII.
1 James Tedesco – New South Wales
With Billy Slater missing out on Origin I through injury, it has to be James Tedesco who makes the team. Micahel Morgan is in line to take over from Slater but even if Kalyn Ponga comes into the Queensland team, Tedesco is reliable and has pace to burn.
2 Valentine Holmes – Queensland
Having scored 12 tries in the World Cup, Holmes is already an experienced representative winger and played a crucial part in Queensaldn’s series win in 2017.
3 Greg Inglis – Queensland
The captain for Queensland, he’s the new Mr. Origin. Ingis will lead his state with pace, strength. At the age of 31, Inglis has played 30 origins, 21 more than anyone else, and has scored 18 tries in the process. He’ll have the pace of Latrell Mitchell to deal with, but if any player can, he can.
4 James Roberts – New South Wales
Possibly one of the toughest choices. James Roberts just edges it over World Cup winning Will Chambers. While Chambers would do as good a job as any with his supreme defensive ability, it’s hard to turn away Roberts. The man is so explosive and will get people’s bums on seats and then off them again to stand and applaud his sheer speed.
5 Josh Addo-Carr – New South Wales
It’s hard to believe, leaving out last year’s Wally Lewis medal winner. But Josh Addo-Carr has been the best winger in the NRL this season and fully deserves his spot. Gagai has moved clubs this season and has done well but Inglis and Robert Jennings have thrived down the left for South Sydney while it’s been quieter down Gagai’s right.
6 Cameron Munster – Queensland
During this week, Nathan Cleary has said that Cameron Munster is his favourite player to watch and it’s hardly surprising. Munster has that x-factor that can open up any team. A classic stand-off that has a strong running game, Munster is also more than capable of organising and taking a game by the scruff of its neck.
7 Nathan Cleary – New South Wales
Along with Ponga and Latrell Mitchell, Nathan Cleary is the youngster to watch in the NRL at the moment. At only 20-years-old, Cleary plays with such assurance and composure. A leg injury looked to have scuppered his Origin chances earlier in the season but the half has performed so well in his two games back from injury, Fittler just had to include him and so did we.
8 Dylan Napa – Queensland
If his side ever find themselves on the back foot, Dylan Napa will be the one that comes up with a big shot to inspire his troops. Since he broke onto the NRL scene, Napa has never cared about reputation and has put shots on at will. Napa will be key to Queensland if they are to win this series.
9 Damien Cook – New South Wales
The most exciting hooker in Rugby League at the moment, Damien Cook fully deserves his New South Wales jersey after a stellar 2018 to date. Working off the back of the Burgess twins blockbusting runs, Cook has been explosive out of dummy half with his electric pace. He just pips Andrew McCullough who is no doubt the better defensive hooker but lacks the cutting edge of Cook.
10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard – New South Wales
Reagan Campbell-Gillard is one of the rare breed who has already made their Australian debut before he’s played for New South Wales. The tall forward has been instrumental for Penrith in their, so far, table-topping 2018 campaign.
11 Boyd Cordner – New South Wales
New South Wales captain at only 25, Boyd Cordner is the most reliable player in the NRL. His line running is incredibly dangerous and his defence is unrelenting. Being captain at such an age is testament to his leadership skills.
12 Tyson Frizell – New South Wales
A fully fledged international, Tyson Frizell is having another excellent season for St George Illawarra Dragons. His utility will prove useful if they ever need him to do a stint in the middle of the field. That just gives him the edge over Felise Kaufusi.
13 Josh McGuire – Queensland
Josh McGuire, just like Napa, will need to perform at his highest standards if Queensland are to prevail in the 2018 series. He’s also the most capped member of Queensland’s pack so his leadership skills will come to the fore alongside captain Greg Inglis.
Were there any you didn’t agree with? Here’s your chance to have your say. Fill in the poll to pick your combined Origin team.