Both New South Wales and Queensland have named their teams for this year’s opening State of Origin game, which will now take place in Townsville on 9 June, after the venue was switched from Melbourne because of the Covid lockdown in the Victorian capital.
Both sides have named their intended matchday 17s, with each team adding three players in reserve in case of pre-game injuries.
New South Wales coach Brad Fittler has named his starting team and interchanges, while Queensland coach Paul Green has only named his 20-man squad. The team shown below is thought to be the likely starting makeup on the day.
Inevitably the Penrith Panthers have the largest representation among the NRL clubs, with six players in the NSW squad, including their halfback partnership of Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary, nad one player, Kurt Capewell, in the Queensland squad.
On the other hand, Queensland’s fallen giants the Brisbane Broncos have only two players selected – Payne Haas for NSW and Xavier Coates for Queensland.
Three NRL clubs – Cronulla Sharks, New Zealand Warriors and the Canterbury Bulldogs – have no players in either squad.
NSW: 1 James Tedesco (Roosters capt), 2 Brian To’o (Panthers), 3 Latrell Mitchell (Rabbitohs), 4 Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), 5 Josh Addo-Carr (Storm), 6 Jarome Luai (Panthers), 7 Nathan Cleary (Panthers), 8 Daniel Saifiti (Knights), 9 Damien Cook (Rabbitohs), 10 Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), 11 Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs), 12 Tariq Sims (Dragons), 13 Isaah Yeo (Panthers), 14 Jack Wighton (Raiders), 15 Junior Paulo (Eels), 16 Payne Haas (Broncos), 17 Liam Martin (Panthers), 18 Apisai Koroisau (Panthers), 19 Campbell Graham (Rabbitohs).
Queensland: 1 Kalyn Ponga (Knights), 2 Xavier Coates (Broncos), 3 Kurt Capewell (Panthers), 4 Dane Gagai (Rabbitohs), 5 Valentine Holmes (Cowboys), 6 Cameron Munster (Storm), 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles), 8 Christian Welch (Storm), 9 Harry Grant (Storm), 10 Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Titans), 11 Felise Kaufusi (Storm), 12 David Fifita (Titans), 13 Jai Arrow (Rabbitohs), 14 AJ Brimson (Titans), 15 Jaydn Su’a (Rabbitohs), 16 Moeaki Fotuaika (Titans), 17 Joe Ofahengaue (Tigers), 18 Kyle Feldt (Cowboys), 19 Reed Mahoney (Eels), 20 Coen Hess (Cowboys).