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State of Origin Picks

Rivalry is in the air, the debates are starting, and every time it’s brought up, NSW residents change the subject to avoid hearing the numbers ’52’ and ‘6’ again.

It’s Origin time. And although I would much rather discuss something more timely, like the Europa League final or City’s chances of a Champion’s League birth, by the time my next article comes out, the State of Origin squads will have already been announced.

So while I WILL weigh in again this year on the team to play against Queensland’s squad of automatic selections, it pains me to consider all the injuries and wasted opportunities involved. This is why, in addition to naming my Origin squads this year, I’ll be writing my ‘in a perfect world’ squads so we can all dream of a tough contest that will give us the best contest to watch.

Never has NSW been so devoid of genuinely strong halves options. To solve this selection dilemma, Laurie Daley must answer so many questions. Does he select Mitchell Pearce, with the incumbent half apprehensive about taking part in this year’s series? Does he select his team based purely on form, purely on experience, or a combination of both? Or does he ignore both and bleed youngsters for the long-term, trying to establish his state’s potential Lockyer and Thurston of the future?

In an ideal world:

NSW QLD
1.     Jarryd Hayne 1.     Billy Slater
2.     Daniel Tupou/Josh Mansour 2.     Darius Boyd
3.     Michael Jennings 3.     Greg Inglis
4.     Josh Morris 4.     Will Chambers
5.     Brett Morris 5.     Corey Oates
6.     Josh Reynolds 6.     Johnathan Thurston (gk)
7.     Adam Reynolds (gk) 7.     Cooper Cronk
8.     Paul Gallen © 8.     Matt Scott
9.     Robbie Farah (vc) 9.     Cameron Smith ©
10.  James Tamou 10.  Nate Myles
11.  Ryan Hoffman 11.  Aidan Guerra
12.  Beau Scott 12.  Sam Thaiday
13.  Greg Bird 13.  Corey Parker
BENCH: BENCH:
14.  Trent Merrin 14.  Michael Morgan
15.  Woodsy 15.  Josh Maguire
16.  Boyd Cordner 16.  Jacob Lillyman
17.  Luke Lewis 17.  Josh Papalii

 

Actual squads:

NSW: QLD:
1.     Josh Dugan 1.     Darius Boyd
2.     Josh Mansour 2.     Corey Oates
3.     Michael Jennings 3.     Greg Inglis
4.     Josh Morris 4.     Justin O’Neill
5.     Blake Ferguson 5.     Dane Gagai
6.     James Maloney 6.     Johnathan Thurston (gk)
7.     Mitchell Pearce 7.     Cooper Cronk
8.     Paul Gallen (c) 8.     Matt Scott
9.     Robbie Farah (vc) 9.     Cameron Smith ©
10.  James Tamou 10.  Nate Myles
11.  Ryan Hoffman 11.  Aidan Guerra
12.  Beau Scott 12.  Sam Thaiday
13.  Greg Bird 13.  Corey Parker
BENCH: BENCH:
14.  Trent Merrin 14.  Michael Morgan
15.  David Klemmer 15.  Josh McGuire
16.  Boyd Cordner 16.  Josh Papalii
17.  Luke Lewis 17.  Jacob Lillyman

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About Niko Pajarillo

Niko Pajarillo
I like sports and I don't care who knows. Football, Tennis, Hockey, Golf. ...and Rugby, Cricket, AFL, League, NFL, Basketball and basically anything you put in front of me.

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