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The Maroons will run out with their rejigged line-up while the Blues will be as named for the State of Origin series opener.

Both teams have named their final squads.

Queensland were forced to change their selected squad due to injuries to Kalyn Ponga and Reed Mahoney with Kyle Feldt promoted to the starting side and Valentine Holmes switching from wing to fullback while Ben Hunt was added to the extended bench.

Cameron Munster (foot), Harry Grant (hamstring) and AJ Brimson (knee) have shaken off their respective injuries and are good to go, as is Dane Gagai, who has overcome a bout of tonsillitis.

There is conjecture on game night suggesting Josh Addo-Carr and Brian To'o will switch flanks with the Storm star joining Tom Trbojevic on the right edge and the Panthers debutant lining up on the left with Latrell Mitchell.

Team news

Maroons: Dane Gagai missed two field sessions due to illness but he is fine to play.

Back-up hooker Reed Mahoney was released from camp to play for the Eels against Newcastle on Sunday but suffered a shoulder injury and is out of action for a couple of weeks.

St George Illawarra skipper Ben Hunt took Mahoney's place on the extended bench. Hunt will be the 18th man with Cowboys forward Coen Hess omitted from the squad an hour before kick-off.

Cameron Munster has been cleared to play as has Titan AJ Brimson, who will take up the bench utility role. 

Veteran back-rower Felise Kaufusi beat his tripping charge at the judiciary and is free to play.

Blues: Payne Haas (knee bone bruise), James Tedesco and Josh Addo-Carr (both hip pointer) were the only slight injury concerns for NSW in the lead-up to game day.

NSW will start three debutants in their match-day 17 with Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai being joined by club teammates Brian To'o and Liam Martin in pulling on the sky blue for the first time. Their introduction should be eased by the presence of fellow Panthers Nathan Cleary and Isaah Yeo.

Penrith hooker Api Koroisau will be the 18th man with Rabbitohs duo Campbell Graham and Keaon Koloamatangi omitted from the game-day squad.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Maroons is number 5 Valentine Holmes
    Fullback for Blues is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Maroons is number 2 Xavier Coates
    Winger for Blues is number 2 Brian To'o
  • Centre for Maroons is number 3 Kurt Capewell
    Centre for Blues is number 3 Latrell Mitchell
  • Centre for Maroons is number 4 Dane Gagai
    Centre for Blues is number 4 Tom Trbojevic
  • Winger for Maroons is number 18 Kyle Feldt
    Winger for Blues is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
  • Five-Eighth for Maroons is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Blues is number 6 Jarome Luai
  • Halfback for Maroons is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans
    Halfback for Blues is number 7 Nathan Cleary

Forwards

  • Prop for Maroons is number 8 Christian Welch
    Prop for Blues is number 8 Daniel Saifiti
  • Hooker for Maroons is number 9 Harry Grant
    Hooker for Blues is number 9 Damien Cook
  • Prop for Maroons is number 10 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui
    Prop for Blues is number 10 Jake Trbojevic
  • 2nd Row for Maroons is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Blues is number 11 Cameron Murray
  • 2nd Row for Maroons is number 12 David Fifita
    2nd Row for Blues is number 12 Tariq Sims
  • Lock for Maroons is number 13 Jai Arrow
    Lock for Blues is number 13 Isaah Yeo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Maroons is number 14 Alexander Brimson
    Interchange for Blues is number 14 Jack Wighton
  • Interchange for Maroons is number 15 Jaydn Su'A
    Interchange for Blues is number 15 Junior Paulo
  • Interchange for Maroons is number 16 Moeaki Fotuaika
    Interchange for Blues is number 16 Payne Haas
  • Interchange for Maroons is number 17 Joe Ofahengaue
    Interchange for Blues is number 17 Liam Martin

Reserves

  • Reserve for Maroons is number 21 Ben Hunt
    Reserve for Blues is number 18 Apisai Koroisau

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

NSW

1. James Tedesco. The Roosters and Blues captain has seven tries this year (but none since round four) but has set up six tries in his past four matches. He is in no doubt despite being troubled by a hip pointer injury in round 12.

2. Brian To'o. One of three debutants in the Blues side, the Penrith pocket rocket easily leads the NRL for run metres (2946 at 245 per game) and is second in the NRL for tackle busts with 73.

3. Latrell Mitchell. The South Sydney superstar is recalled to the Origin arena in his former position of centre having scored five tries and set up nine more in his eight games this year.

4. Tom Trbojevic. Returns after missing last year injured in the centre position in which he dominated the 2019 series. Has eight tries and 12 try assists in just seven games this year.

5. Josh Addo-Carr. The Storm speedster returns for his fourth Origin series and is topping the NRL try-scoring list with 15 – including six in one game in round nine, the first time a player has scored six in a game in 71 years.

Jarome Luai's journey to a Blues jersey

6. Jarome Luai. Another debutant picked by Fittler, the Mt Druitt livewire registered the equal-most try assists last year with 23 and is leading the way again this year with 14 in 12 games – two ahead of his halves partner.

7. Nathan Cleary. The Panthers co-captain heads into his fourth Origin series in imperious form; his 146 points is miles ahead of next-best Adam Reynolds (114), his big right boot has collected a league-best 5573 kick metres and his 12 try assists trails only Luai across the NRL.

8. Daniel Saifiti. The hard-running Knights prop has gone from shock bolter to automatic selection over the past two Origin series with his huge line-bending carries his biggest asset. Saifiti's running figures of 9.5 metres per hit-up carry and 147 total metres per game are both top 10 among middle forwards in the NRL.

9. Damien Cook. Has been arguably the best running No.9 in the NRL for five years now and despite questions over his early 2021 form his six line breaks are the most by any hooker this year with 62 metres per game while his 19 busts trail only Storm rake Brandon Smith.

10. Jake Trbojevic. Listed to start at prop for just the second time but has excelled as a big-minute bench prop for NSW in the past, Trbojevic's form has lifted through the season. His lighting-quick 2.91 second average play-the-ball is third best among all regular NRL starters.

11. Cameron Murray. The South Sydney lock returned last week from an ankle injury and is named to start on an edge, a position he has filled in at times for the Bunnies and has earned him his first run-on start in his fifth Origin.

The Blues pose for their team photo at Coogee.
The Blues pose for their team photo at Coogee. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

12. Tariq Sims. The Dragons firebrand is the only specialist edge forward in Fittler's 17. Loves to pressure opposition halves and has recorded an NRL-high three chargedowns this year.

13. Isaah Yeo. The unsung hero of Penrith's surge to a historic 12-0 start to the year, Yeo's ball-playing, linking role between his halves and backs and uncanny knack of taking the correct option is boosted by his own impressive nuts-and-bolts stats with 9.9 metres per hit-up and an effective tackle rate of 94.9%.

14. Jack Wighton. Wighton's Raiders may be struggling for wins but last year's Dally M winner's effort never wavers, as attested by his 115 runs and 84 average metres. A big body with the ability to cover halves, centre and fullback make him the ideal Origin utility.

Fittler looking to unlock Wighton’s running game

15. Junior Paulo. A ball-playing prop going into his second Origin series, Paulo's 21 offloads (seventh-most in the NRL) and 132 metres per game should provide some impetus from the interchange.

16. Payne Haas. The Broncos big man sent a scare through Blues camp when he came off with a knee injury in round 12 but he is reportedly fine with just some bruising. His huge motor and ability bend the line have generated 163 metres per game and 10.9 metres gained per hit-up.

Blues forward Liam Martin.
Blues forward Liam Martin. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

17. Liam Martin. This year's bolter, Martin comes in as the third debutant after Dragons back-rower Tyson Frizell was ruled out late on Sunday. The Temora product's belligerent running game and ability to play middle or edge will be an asset to Fittler's squad.

18. Api Koroisau. The 2014 premiership-winner comes in as Cook's understudy and is the sixth Panther in the squad and has slotted well back into Penrith since returning from a broken wrist in round eight.

Queensland

5. Valentine Holmes. Moved from the wing to fullback following the forced withdrawal of Kalyn Ponga. An automatic selection for Queensland before his NFL sojourn, Holmes has hit peak form at fullback in the Cowboys' recent winning run. Has a stunning nine tries in seven Origin appearances, failing to score just once in those seven games.

2. Xavier Coates. Has been impressive on Brisbane's right flank. The towering 20-year-old has eight tries this year and scored in both his Origin appearances last year.

3. Kurt Capewell. The Panthers back-rower had a whirlwind debut Origin series last year and was one of Queensland's best from centre in the game-one win. Comes in fresh off a one-game suspension having produced his best game of the season against Souths in round 11 with 164 metres and a try.

Maroons stars reminisce at Bundaberg fan day

4. Dane Gagai. A Wally Lewis medallist from the wing in 2017, Gagai never fails to bring his best when it comes to Origin. This will be Gagai's second Origin series as a centre and comes in off a game-breaking hat-trick outing against the Eels.

18. Kyle Feldt. With Valentine Holmes moving the fullback to replace Ponga, the giant Cowboys winger gets a start. Watch for Queensland to utilise his aerial skills.

6. Cameron Munster. Another under an injury cloud, Munster hasn't played since round nine due to a foot injury but has been declared available by Storm medicos. Produced one of Origin's great performances in last year's decider to seal a stunning Queensland upset series win.

Billy Slater previews State of Origin opener

7. Daly Cherry-Evans. The Queensland captain was as inspirational as his halves partner last year and has found his best form with Manly of late. Trails only Cleary this year for kick metres with 4674 in 12 games and leads all comers for 40/20 kicks with three this season.

8. Christian Welch. The Storm big man sat out his side's round-12 win over Brisbane with knee soreness but is not in doubt for Origin I. One of the form props of the competition, Welch's 32 offloads are the second-most in the NRL this year.

9. Harry Grant. Has declared himself fit to play and prepared to play big minutes despite a hamstring strain keeping him off the field since round nine. Makes more metres per game (92), equal with clubmate Brandon Smith, and has five try assists in as many games this year.

10. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui. The Titans firebrand was a key plank of the Maroons' upset last year and had a memorable running battle with Payne Haas. The two will no doubt look to renew their rivalry with Fa'asuamaleaui's aggressive running game (143 average metres and 25 busts) a feature of his play for Gold Coast this year.

11. Felise Kaufusi. The Storm back-rower successfully beat his tripping charge at the judiciary on Tuesday night and is available for game one. Played every minute of last year's series and helps marshal one of the most impregnable right edges in the NRL at Melbourne.

The schoolboy discipline that built an NRL superstar

12. David Fifita. The Gold Coast wrecking ball missed last year's series with injury but has been dynamic this year, with his 78 busts the most of any player this year and easily the most of any forward. His 28 offloads are the third most in the NRL through 12 rounds.

13. Jai Arrow. The Rabbitohs lock took to Origin like a duck to water in his 2018 debut and he ruffled some blue feathers with his rough treatment of James Tedesco last year. This will be his first Origin start in his preferred lock role after five bench starts and two at prop so far.

Arrow hopes for Origin leniency

14. AJ Brimson. Yet another Maroon battling injury, the Titans fullback hobbled off in round 12 with knee bruising but has said he is in no doubt for Origin I. Had a lightning debut with a try in the upset game one win last year before joining the Maroons injury curse and missing the rest of the series.

15. Jaydn Su'A. Played all three Origins last year and started this year strongly before being dropped by Souths coach Wayne Bennett last week in a host of changes following the Penrith loss. One of the game's real hit-men, his physicality on an edge will keep the Blues halves on notice.

16. Moeaki Fotuaika. The Titans bench weapon has been churning through mammoth numbers of late. His 156 metres per game is fifth-best among all middle forwards and his 10.6 metres per hit-up is third best among middle forwards.

17. Joe Ofahengaue. The former Bronco paid the price for a drop-off in form at Brisbane last year, losing his Origin spot. Has fought back admirably at new club the Wests Tigers this year, finding a home in the No.13 jersey and returning to the Origin arena.

No milking: Cherry-Evans calls for gentleman's agreement

21. Ben Hunt. With Reed Mahoney absent due to a shoulder injury suffered on club duty for Parramatta on Sunday, Hunt received a late call-up to join the squad in Townsville on Monday. He will be used as 18th man due to his versatility.

 

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