NSW State of Origin team named, some surprises in line-up
NEW South Wales selectors have named their team for the opening State of Origin match of this year's series to be played in Sydney next Wednesday night.
The Blues team contained few surprises, with Mitchell Pearce and Trent Hodkinson to form another new combination in the halves.
Young Bulldogs forwards Josh Jackson and David Klemmer were also named, with Jackson to start at lock in his Origin debut, and Klemmer to come off the bench.
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Parramatta back Will Hopoate edged out Rabbitohs try-scoring machine Alex Johnston, who made his debut for Australia last year, for a spot on the wing.
The Blues are missing several of their best players from last year's series-winning squad, including injured captain Paul Gallen, star fullback Jarryd Hayne (NFL), winger Brett Morris (hamstring) and lock Greg Bird (suspended).
The Queensland team is yet to be confirmed, but Broncos prop Josh McGuire is expected to be the only new face in the line-up.
Manly playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans will be named on the interchange bench despite picking up an elbow injury in Monday night's 11-10 loss to the Panthers at Brookvale Oval.
Cowboys utility Michael Morgan, who bagged a hat-trick against the Broncos last Friday night, will join the squad in camp on the Gold Coast as a back-up for Cherry-Evans.
Young Roosters forward Dylan Napa will be named 18th man for Queensland.
NSW: Josh Dugan, Daniel Tupou, Josh Morris, Michael Jennings, Will Hopoate, Mitchell Pearce, Trent Hodkinson, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, James Tamou, Beau Scott, Ryan Hoffman, Josh Jackson.
Inter: Trent Merrin, Boyd Cordner, David Klemmer, Andrew Fifita.
QUEENSLAND : Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Will Chambers, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith, Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday, Aidan Guerra, Corey Parker.
Inter: Daly Cherry-Evans, Josh McGuire, Matt Gillett, Jacob Lillyman. 18th man Dylan Napa, 19th man Michael Morgan.