Sport State of Origin 2021: Full NSW and Queensland team lists for Game I
NSW Blues Origin 1 team: Expert reaction, every selection analysed
Eight months ago it was the same old, same old for New South Wales. Stacked with talent, coached by a genius in Brad Fittler and unbackable favourites against the hapless Maroons – before losing another ‘unlosable series. In 2021 the story repeats. New South Wales’s Origin 1 team is brimming with talent from teams in sensational form, no real injuries to complain of and a coach saying he understands what he did wrong in 2020 and who is out to atone.
Game I of theis almost upon us.
NSW coach Brad Fittler has opted for a host of the ladder-leading Panthers to steer his side to victory after the Maroons snatched an against-the-odds win in 2020.
First-time Origin coach Paul Green has had plenty of injury and illness issues to work through with his Queensland side ahead of game one in Townsville.
Here's how the squads look.
Impeccable form at club level has seen three Penrith players - Brian To'o, Jarome Luai and Liam Martin - rewarded with New South Wales debuts ahead of Game 1 of the 2021 State of Origin series.
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Blues coach Brad Fittler announced his squad for the first game on Sunday, giving powerhouse winger To'o the nod over imcumbent Daniel Tupou.
The five-eighth position was among the most hotly contested, with Luai, Jack Wighton and Cody Walker all in the mix for the spot.
In the end, Fittler opted to stick with the Panthers' halves pairing of Nathan Cleary and Luai, with Wighton selected at number 14.
Unbeaten over the first 12 rounds, the Panthers have the most representatives in five after lock forward Isaah Yeo was given the nod in the no. 13 jersey, while Apisai Koroisai's inclusion in the 19-man squad brings it up to six.
- James Tedesco
- Brian To'o
- Latrell Mitchell
- Tom Trbojevic
- Josh Addo-Carr
- Jarome Luai
- Nathan Cleary
- Daniel Saifiti
- Damien Cook
- Jake Trbojevic
- Cam Murray
- Tariq Sims
- Isaah Yeo
- Jack Wighton
- Junior Paulo
- Payne Haas
- Liam Martin
- Apisai Koroisau
- Campbell Graham
Maroons coach Paul Green has selected his first State of Origin team, including several players under injury and suspension clouds.
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Newcastle fullback Kalyn Ponga hadn't played in three weeks at club level and Green backed him to overcome his groin issue in time for Game I on June 9.
However Queensland have since, opening the door for Valentine Holmes or AJ Brimson to take the number one jersey.
Superstar five-eighth Cameron Munster also hasn't been seen in three matches for the Storm as he battles a foot injury, but he looks set to take his place in the team.
His Storm teammate, hooker Harry Grant, has also been included in the squad and had won a place in the starting 13 even prior to Reed Mahoney's injury while on club duty.
Dragons veteran Ben Hunt has replaced Mahoney in the squad.
Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt is the only potential debutant and with club teammate Holmes a chance to play at fullback, he could line up on a wing opposite Xavier Coates.
Backrower Felise Kaufusi is free to take his place in the team after beating a charge at the judiciary.
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Kurt Capewell's selection brings the number of Panthers players across the two teams up to six, after five members of the ladder leaders were included in
(In alphabetical order)
- Jai Arrow
- AJ Brimson
- Kurt Capewell
- Daly Cherry-Evans
- Xavier Coates
- Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
- Kyle Feldt
- David Fifita
- Moeaki Fotuaika
- Dane Gagai
- Harry Grant
- Coen Hess
- Valentine Holmes
- Ben Hunt
- Felise Kaufusi
- Cameron Munster
- Joe Ofahengaue
- Kalyn Ponga
- Jaydn Su’A
- Christian Welch
Struggling country pub forced to close due to Covid on Origin night .
Kim Fetherstone, who owns the Vandenberg Hotel in Forbes, lost out on at least $7,000 worth of business on State of Origin night after closing due to Covid exposure.Kim Fetherstone, who owns the Vandenberg Hotel in Forbes, in New South Wales' Central West, closed her pub for deep cleaning when she discovered a Victorian woman and her husband had dined there while infectious.