NSW coach Michael Maguire and Queensland counterpart Billy Slater both will run out with their selected line-ups with no late changes for game one of the State of Origin series at Accor Stadium on Wednesday night.

The match starts at 8.05pm and teams have officially been announced an hour before kick-off.

Maguire’s Blues will be 1-17 as selected after he had shot down suggestions he would bring standby player Matt Burton onto his interchange to give his team more versatility after naming four forwards on his bench.

Burton and Warriors forward Mitch Barnett were the final two players culled from the NSW line-up with the Canterbury five-eighth remaining on the bench for game night.

Felise Kaufusi will be Queensland’s 18th player with Broncos playmaker Ezra Mam the final player omitted.

Slater was agitated about questions surrounding his decision to play Broncos centre Selwyn Cobbo on the bench in case injuries strike his team out wide.

The only change to either side after the squads were originally named is James Tedesco lining up at fullback after his late recall on the weekend when Dylan Edwards was ruled out with a thigh injury.

How they’ll line up

Blues

1. James Tedesco
Age: 31
Origins: 22
Origin tries: 7

Who saw this coming? After a quad injury struck his would-be replacement Dylan Edwards, Tedesco heeded NSW’s distress call and will reprise his role as fullback. An out-and-out Blues champion, he only entered camp on Sunday but knows exactly what it means to excel on the Origin stage.

2. Brian To’o
Age: 25
Origins: 9
Origin tries: 4

The Penrith pocket rocket has become a must-pick for his tackle-breaking abilities and willingness to take tough carries out of yardage. Offers a point of difference to the other three wingers on the field with his compact size.

3. Stephen Crichton
Age: 23
Origins: 6
Origin tries: 1
Canterbury’s captain and star recruit has been a big part of the Bulldogs’ resurgence this year and brings similar leadership to the outside backs. Blessed with size and speed, he has become known as one of the NRL’s best big-game players.

4. Joseph Suaalii
Age: 20
Origins: 0
Origin tries: 0
Michael Maguire divided opinions by selecting rugby union-bound Suaalii, but there’s no debating his talent and athleticism. The Sydney Roosters star is accustomed to standing up to pressure and impressed during Samoa’s 2022 World Cup tilt, his representative debut.

5. Zac Lomax
Age: 24
Origins: 0
Origin tries: 0
A maiden Origin cap has been fitting reward for his excellent form on a move to the wing for St George Illawarra. Long touted as Origin material, he’s in career-best touch and poses an aerial threat on the edge.

Jarome Luai of the Blues looks to pass the ball during game two of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on June 21, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Jarome Luai looks to pass. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

6. Jarome Luai
Age: 27
Origins: 7
Origin tries: 2
Dropped after game two last year, Luai earns a recall on the back of some fantastic individual performances for Penrith in Nathan Cleary’s absence. He’s affirmed his deft kicking abilities in recent weeks and the passion with which he plays is pure Origin.

7. Nicho Hynes
Age: 27
Origins: 1
Origin tries: 0
Out to make amends for a tough Origin debut in last year’s series opener. The Cronulla star has shaken off a bothersome calf injury and will be tasked with running the show in the absence of a host of injured halfback options.

8. Jake Trbojevic (c)
Age: 30
Origins: 16
Origin tries: 1
The Blues’ new captain is as dedicated to the state as they come. His attacking impact might not be what it once was but his leadership and defensive work rate will both be essential for NSW.

9. Reece Robson
Age: 25
Origins: 2
Origin tries: 0
NSW’s biggest selection shock, Robson gets the nod ahead of star Wests Tigers hooker Api Koroisau and is likely to play big minutes at dummy-half, with no specialist hooker named on the bench. Has provided much-needed consistency to a hot-and-cold North Queensland outfit this year.

10. Payne Haas
Age: 24
Origins: 11
Origin tries: 0
Arguably the most important forward on the field for either side. The Blues are looking to make Origin I into a grind through the middle of the park and the Brisbane behemoth is essential to the success of that plan.

11. Liam Martin
Age: 27
Origins: 9
Origin tries: 1
The triple premiership-winner has developed a reputation as NSW’s biggest on-field pest, but there can be no doubting his importance with the ball as well. Expect him to spend some time in the middle of the park later in the game.

12. Angus Crichton
Age: 28
Origins: 11
Origin tries: 1
He started the year playing reserve grade but is now undoubtedly one of the form edge forwards in the NRL. Overlooked entirely last series but now earns his third start in sky blue.

13. Cameron McInnes
Age: 30
Origins: 0
Origin tries: 0
With his toughness and persistence, the Cronulla captain just exudes Origin. Holds the record for most tackles in an NRL game (81) and has the ability to spend time at hooker if Robson needs a break.

Interchange

14. Isaah Yeo
Age: 29
Origins: 11
Origin tries: 0
It will be interesting to see how Maguire uses Yeo, the best ball-playing lock in the NRL, from the bench. He has the size and power to play as a standard middle forward, and the fitness to play big minutes at lock if Maguire wants McInnes to spend some time at hooker.

Isaah Yeo of the Blues is tackled

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

15. Haumole Olakau’atu
Age: 25
Origins: 0
Origin tries: 0
The burly Manly second-rower earns a debut after a couple of years on the fringes. Could replace Liam Martin on an edge if Maguire wants to shift the Panther into the middle later on.

16. Spencer Leniu
Age: 23
Origins: 0
Origin tries: 0
Became known for his bench impact during three premiership seasons at Penrith and Queensland can expect him to provide tired defenders with similar headaches as the game wears on.

17. Hudson Young 
Age: 25
Origins: 2
Origin tries: 0
The Canberra second-rower got a taste of Origin last year but didn’t make as much of a mark on the arena as he’d have hoped. Likely to be tasked with playing centre in the event of an injury, given the Blues have picked four forwards on their bench.

18th player: Matt Burton
Age: 24
Origins: 2
Origin tries: 1
Able to play centre or in the halves to equal acclaim, his versatility makes him the ideal candidate for the replacement role. Will only make it onto the field in the event of multiple concussions or one caused by foul play that results in a sin bin.

QLD Maroons head coach Billy Slater and NSW Blues head coach Michael Maguire pose for a photograph during the 2024 State of Origin Series Launch at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 16, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Queensland’s Billy Slater and NSW Blues head coach Michael Maguire go head to head. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Queensland

1. Reece Walsh
Age: 21
Origins: 2
Origin tries: 0
They call him “Reece Lightning” and with good reason. Few players light up a rugby league field like the Broncos’ whiz kid. Bold, brash and brilliant, Walsh and NSW pantomime villain Jarome Luai have an old-fashioned Origin feud going that should be a centrepiece of the action.

2. Xavier Coates
Age: 23
Origins: 8
Origin tries: 3
Coates has scored tries no-one else could due to his speed and athleticism. He wanted to be an Olympian in his youth and utilise his jumping prowess. It was a NSW Blues stalwart Matt Geyer who encouraged Coates on his league pathway and he has been backed to the hilt by Maroons coach Billy Slater.

3. Valentine Holmes
Age: 28
Origins: 16
Origin tries: 13
There are those deemed to be “Origin players” and Holmes is one of them. His strike-rate for tries of 0.81 per game in the Origin arena has the North Queensland weapon on track to surpass Greg Inglis (18 tries) as the state’s all-time best.

4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
Age: 22
Origins: 4
Origin tries: 5
They call him “Hammer” and Tabuai-Fidow does exactly that across the turf. Once clocked at 10.85 seconds for 100m as a 16-year-old, he scored one of the all-time great individual tries in Origin 1 in Adelaide last year.

5. Murray Taulagi
Age: 25
Origins: 4
Origin tries: 1
Taulagi could have pursued a career at the elite level in rugby union. He has a habit of coming up with big plays when needed and is a reliable finisher. Uses his huge frame to great impact with his blockbusting runs and is also a physical presence in defence.

6. Tom Dearden
Age: 23
Origins: 1
Origin tries: 0
Dearden stepped up at short notice on Origin debut in 2022 to lead the Maroons to victory in the decider in the absence of Camerom Munster. Munster is absent again and the Cowboys co-captain is more than ready to fill the breach. 

7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c)
Age: 35
Origins: 22
Origin tries: 2 
Cherry-Evans shows no signs of being out of place in the Origin arena despite his age. He has now etched his name in the annals of the great Maroons captains with three series wins as skipper. The rudder and spiritual leader of the team.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 21: Maroons players line up for the national anthems ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on June 21, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

8. Reuben Cotter
Age: 25
Origins: 4
Origin tries: 0
Cotter played every minute of the 2023 Origin series to be player of the series. A throwback to the 1980s, the Cowboys warhorse would play all night if asked. Hits hard and runs hard. Does it all game.

9. Ben Hunt
Age: 34
Origins: 17
Origin tries: 3
The veteran St George Illawarra half is one of those multifaceted elite players who can play another position in the spine in the Origin arena with equal aplomb. One of the first picked, Hunt gets better each series he plays. 

10. Lindsay Collins
Age: 28
Origins: 9
Origin tries: 0
The Sydney Roosters front-rower is the unsung hero of the Maroons. He missed the 2021 Origin series with injury. Apart from that his strike-rate is three series wins from three. Has never been left out when fit since his debut.

11. Jaydn Su’A
Age: 26
Origins: 4
Origin tries: 0
Su’A has reinvented himself at the Dragons under coach Shane Flanagan to bring an end to a three-year Origin absence. An old school hitman like former Maroons enforcer Ben Te’o.

12. Jeremiah Nanai
Age: 21
Origins: 5
Origin tries: 1
Nanai is one of the game’s most dangerous threats in attack in the air, and he is a forward. It is a remarkable rise for Nanai who is a damaging ball runner and can pack a punch in defence. Gives real X-factor to Queensland’s forwards.

13. Patrick Carrigan
Age: 26
Origins: 6
Origin tries: 0
The Broncos No.13 has shone in the Origin cauldron where his work rate is matched by skill with the ball in hand. Has been touted as a future Maroons captain for his strong leadership and example.

Interchange

14. Harry Grant
Age: 26
Origins: 8
Origin tries: 1
Melbourne captain Grant made a stunning entry into Origin footy when he scored on debut in 2020 to clinch a series win. Is a crafty and confident presence at No.9 where his deception, pace and power combine to make the complete rake.

Harry Grant of the Maroons passes as he is tackled during game one of the 2022 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on June 08, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Harry Grant. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

15. Moeaki Fotuaika
Age: 24
Origins: 6
Origin tries: 0
Gold Coast powerhouse Fotuaika was a schoolboy colleague of NSW counterpart Payne Haas at Keebra Park High. Fotuaika is more than capable of taking it to Haas, who he respects but wants to dominate.

16. J’maine Hopgood 
Age: 25
Origins: 0
Parramatta’s strong man has built a reputation for being ferocious in defence and always ripping in with the ball. Hopgood also has an effective offload. Once worked as a carpenter and is now nailing it ahead of his Origin debut.

17. Selwyn Cobbo
Age: 21
Origins: 4
Origin tries: 2
Cobbo has been described by Queensland selector Darren Lockyer as “exactly like Greg Inglis”, with his devastating abilities in the outside backs in three positions. Could also be utilised in the middle.

18th player: Felse Kaufusi
Age: 32
Origins: 14
Origin tries: 2
Kaufusi was suspended during last year’s series but has bounced back superbly to showcase his aggressive ways for the Dolphins.

with AAP





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