The start of the biggest and the best rugby league showdown of the year is only a couple of weeks away with the iconic 2012 State of Origin series to kick off on May 23, and here we take a quick look at the State of Origin team lists for both the mighty Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues.
Queensland has enjoyed a stranglehold over the State of Origin arena winning an incredible six straight series.
They have a combination of class, skill, experience and legendary status that makes them all but unbeatable on paper and as it has been proven on the field as well.
So what are the Blues doing wrong? No one, least of all their coach Ricky Stewart really knows.
While it would seem that State of Origin Game 1 will play out on neutral territory taking place at Ethiad Stadium in Melbourne, one could argue this plays into the Maroon’s hands.
Two Melbourne Storm superstars are among the Maroons squad with champion fullback Billy Slater and Cam Smith who takes over as skipper for the retired great Darren Lockyer.
It is easy to see why Queensland are the shorties in the State of Origin odds at bookmaker.com.au paying around $1.40 to win.
Among the most experienced in a squad that boasts an incredible 147 winning State Of Origin matches in total are the warhorse Petero Civoniceva who will say goodbye to the game at the end of the season, Cowboys five eighty Johnathan Thurston, and fellow North Queenslander Matthew Scott to name a few.
But there are some rookie’s as well with two young players named to make their Origin debut in an extended 19-man team with the Broncos’ Matt Gillett on the bench and Manly’s star rookie Daley Cherry-Evans.
In an attempt to spice things up and inject something fresh into the New South Wales Origin team this year selectors have named four debutants.
Most notable of the quartet is the Sharks standout player Todd Carney who is doing everything right on and off the field this year making him deserving of his fifth eighth Blues’ jersey.
He should bring something good to the table too as he reunites with halfback Mitchell Pearce who he used to work some magic with on the green when playing for the Roosters.
The other New South Welshmen to make their debuts in State Of Origin Game 1 are then Cowboys’ James Tamou who will be looking to match his club teammates including his Cowboys captain Thurston on the opposite side for a change, flyer Jamie Buhrer and Tony Williams.
With so many Origin series losses the Blues are the underdogs going into game one paying around $2.70 through bookmaker.com.au.
So is there anything missing from the Queensland State of Origin Team?
Locky for one but Smith should captain them alright.
Cloud of injury over Justin Hodges, the centre suffering a foot injury that saw him miss Brisbane’s NRL Round 10 loss to Manly.
He says he’ll be right by Dane Nielsen has been named as the 19th man just in case.
Hodges is one of four Brisbanites in the squad along with Nielsen, Sam Thaiday and Ben Hannant.
Along with the retired Locky the other notable absentee is Corey Parker who was snubbed by Origin selectors after his poor night on the boot against the Sea Eagles last week.
Check out the complete State of Origin 2012 team lists in the tables below.
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2012 Queensland Maroons State of Origin Game 1 Team
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2012 New South Wales Blues State of Origin Game 1 Team
|Michael Jennings See Player Bio||CTR1||2009||1|