The opener of the three-match 2015 Holden State of Origin series takes place at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium next Wednesday, May 27, and the teams for both the Queensland Maroons and New South Wales Blues are now out.
State Of Origin betting following the team announcements has also started to heat up at Ladbrokes.com.au with New South Wales the $2 underdogs to get the better of Queensland ($1.80) in a predicted tight Game 1 result next week.
The Maroons meanwhile are at an even shorter $1.60 in the overall State Of Origin Series 2015 odds to stop the Blues ($2.35) from going back-to-back with a second shield in as many years.
Queensland XXXX Maroons Team (Game 1)
- Billy Slater
- Darius Boyd
- Greg Inglis
- Justin Hodges
- Will Chambers
- Johnathan Thurston
- Cooper Cronk
- Matt Scott
- Cameron Smith ©
- Nate Myles
- Aidan Guerra
- Sam Thaiday
- Corey Parker
- Daly Cherry-Evans
- Josh McGuire
- Matt Gillett
- Jacob Lillyman
- Dylan Napa
Queensland coach Mal Meninga has stuck with all of his ageing stars to get the Maroons back to a series win after the Blues broke the drought last year.
Five have been named from the Brisbane Broncos giving the oldest Queensland NRL club a challenge in the Telstra Premiership throughout the next couple of months.
The Brisbane players in the Queensland Maroons State of Origin Game 1 team are: the injury-prone Justin Hodges in his likely swansong Origin series, Darius Boyd who has had just the two games back from an Achilles injury, big Sam Thaiday in the second row, veteran lock Corey Parker, Matt Gillett on the bench and fellow interchange Josh McGuire making his Origin debut.
Also set to feel the sting of the Origin series at club level is the Melbourne Storm who provides the likes of star fullback Billy Slater, young Will Chambers, No. 7 Cooper Cronk and skipper Cameron Smith who has confirmed he’s sticking around in the rep footy arena until the 2017 World Cup.
The Cowboys meanwhile have the game’s No. 1 paid player and No. 1 number six Johnathan Thurston adding to his 30-straight Origin appearances as well as Matt Scott in the Maroons line-up.
Their 18th man is Dylan Napa and he is likely to get a call-up with injury concerns around Daly Cherry-Evans.
New South Wales VB Blues Team (Game 1)
- Josh Dugan
- Daniel Tupou
- Michael Jennings
- Josh Morris
- William Hopoate
- Mitchell Pearce
- Trent Hodkinson
- Aaron Woods
- Robbie Farah ©
- James Tamou
- Ryan Hoffman
- Beau Scott
- Joshua Jackson
- Trent Merrin
- David Klemmer
- Andrew Fifita
- Boyd Cordner
They won last year’s series last year but are underdogs to do it again in the 2015 State Of Origin and there was plenty of pre-team release talk about who coach Laurie Daley would name for his Blues halves-combo.
He’s gone with Mitchell Pearce (five-eighth), who was dropped from the squad last year because of his appalling off-field behavior, and Trent Hodkinson in Daley’s first non-club combo in the halves since he started coaching the Cockroaches.
It is a controversial selection especially in regards to Hodkinson who was there leading the Blues for their series win last year but whose 2015 form has left a lot to be desired.
One of the most notable holes left from last year was the missing No. 1 Jarryd Hayne, following his dream to play in the NFL, and Daley has gone in the direction of five-time Origin capped Josh Dugan.
Also considered for the position of fullback were the likes of Brett Stewart, James Tedesco and Matty Moylan but all have been over looked.
In the centres for the series opener are flyers Michael Jennings and Josh Morris while Daniel Tupou remains out on the wing.
On debut are Bulldogs duo Joshua Jackson and David Klemmer, while the big overlook was Luke Lewis.
The veteran has played State Of Origin for the Blues since 2004 but has been left out of this year’s Game 1 line-up with Jackson in the starting squad and Trent Merrin off the bench to inject something dangerous into the forwards.
The second row features Origin stalwarts Ryan Hoffman and Beau Scott, while the team will be led by newly instated skipper Robbie Farah who comes in to replace the injured Paul Gallen (hip).
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