Is 2013 the year of the Blues? Can NSW finally break the Maroons’ stranglehold on Origin, 7 years is far too long!
NSW need to take a leaf out of Queensland’s book and stick solid with incumbants as much as possible, and the team announced for game 1 looks to have done just that with 12 of the 17 named going around in last years series.
The new players to come in are Blake Ferguson, James Maloney, Ryan Hoffman with Kurt Gidley and Andrew Fifita on the bench.
Had Brett Stewart been fit there’s no doubt he would have been selected at fullback with Jarryd Hayne taking up his usual Origin position on the wing, while Todd Carney has had a stop start year with injury and the form of James Maloney and his partnership at the Roosters with Mitchell Pearce swayed selectors in his direction. He was close to getting a call up last season before poor form prior to Origin opened the door for Carney.
Ryan Hoffman has been great for the Storm this season after returning from a stint in England and with Glenn Stewart injured that was always going to be a position that needed to be filled, he’ll fill the experience void that was left with the injury to Stewart.
On the bench, Gidley is held in high esteem by the selectors, god knows why, and he was always going to be one of the first picked. He has Origin experience too which is a bonus so he’ll come off the bench and give Farah a bit of a breather if needed.
The big surprise is the inclusion of Fifita, he has been on fire for the Sharks so far this season and deserves his spot, but he (like most of us) probably wasn’t expecting to get a call up for game 1 to be honest. Tim Grant can count himself a little unlucky not to be included but it’ll just make him more determined to keep up his good form from the last few weeks.
So all in all, a good looking Blues team and I think they’ll give the Maroons a shake in game 1 of State of Origin 2013. It’s going to be a cracker of a series, be sure to check out the full side below, we’ll keep this updated with any changes over the next week and a half!
NSW Blues State of Origin Team – Game 1 2013
1. Jarryd Hayne
2. Brett Morris
3. Michael Jennings
4. Josh Morris
5. Blake Ferguson
6. James Maloney
7. Mitchell Pearce
8. Paul Gallen
9. Robbie Farah
10. James Tamou
11. Ryan Hoffman
12. Luke Lewis
13. Greg Bird
Kurt Gidley Sutton/J Reynolds