New South Wales Blues head coach Michael Maguire has confirmed his State of Origin squad for Game 1, and the 20-man playing group hasn't come without its fair share of head-scratching selections.

Maguire has promised he would pick a team based on form as the Blues, who had a torrid time in the final years under coach Brad Fittler, looked to move into a new generation and era of Origin.

But that era has plenty of questions to be answered before it can get off the floor and start walking, with James Tedesco dropped and a handful of what seemed almost certain selections missing from the side to take on the Maroons in Game 1.

Here are all the key talking points from the Blues' side for Game 1.

» NSW Game 1 squad
» QLD Game 1 squad

Key Tigers miss out

It's not as if the Tigers have been in form that says they should have a number of State of Origin players, but there seemed to be little to no chance of either Apisai Koroisau or Stefano Utoikamanu missing out on the team.

Koroisau is one of the game's best hookers. In fact, you'd put him on a pedestal with Harry Grant as the top two in the game. Despite that, and the fact he has played well at Origin level time and time again, he was missing when Maguire's team was confirmed on Sunday evening.

In his place, Reece Robson will take the number nine jersey and be expected to play big minutes with the only other likely dummy half in the squad being Cameron McInnes, who will start at number 13 before sharing duties with Isaah Yeo, who has been dropped to the bench.

Koroisau's seeming inability to play 80 minutes at Origin level may have hurt him, but it still doesn't make a great deal of sense to drop the walk-up starter.

His Tigers' teammate Stefano Utoikamanu is also missing in a turn of events which few would have seen coming.

A barnstorming prop, Utoikamanu is the future of not only his club, but New South Wales at State of Origin level, and yet, he couldn't get a run this year.

In what is a changing of the guard with Junior Paulo being dropped (and rightly so), Utoikamanu should have been the second prop picked behind Payne Haas.

Instead, he is nowhere to be seen, with Spencer Leniu, who has played just four games all off the bench this season for the Roosters named, but more on that selection later.

However, Maguire is an ex-Tigers' coach, so maybe he knows something we don't.

A new captain and a new fullback

Calling it the decision that had to be made would be a bridge too far given James Tedesco's form for the Sydney Roosters this season.

Back to somewhere near his best, there was an overwhelming feeling the state captain had done enough to keep his spot, right up until the moment Maguire unveiled his squad with the game's most consistent fullback in the custodian role.

Edwards has barely played a bad game in the last three years. He may not have the flash of Tedesco, but if the Blues are going for field position, running metres and to win the game by battering the Maroons, then having Edwards and the Penrith combination to put them on the front foot isn't the worst call.

Edwards being picked may also help Isaah Yeo, who has struggled at Origin level in recent years, with the difference between him and Cameron Murray becoming evident in Game 3 last year when the Rabbitoh was awarded a starting spot at lock.

Tedesco's axing also means a new captain was needed, with Jake Trbojevic stepping into the void.

It's an enormous call from Maguire, but Trbojevic is a winner, does the job consistently and is the sort of player you need at Origin level. You don't need more than one of them, but a player who makes 150 metres and 30 tackles without a miss is invaluable at this level.

His selection will be laughed at, but he is the sort of player who would never miss a game for the Maroons, and let's just say there is a reason they have won as much as they have in the last two decades.

Maguire sweating on no injuries or HIAs

One of the key concerns for Maguire going into the game will be not having any injuries or HIAs in the backline, because there are realistically no options.

At least with Koroisau playing, he could have slotted into the halves. But without Koroisau, there is nothing.

The closest they will likely get is moving Angus Crichton into the centres and shuffling things around from there, so it's clearly an issue for the Blues that they have decided to take a gamble on.

I'm not a massive fan of playing a specialist back on the bench, but a genuine utility is normally needed. It's an enormous shame Connor Watson was injured as he may well have been a walk-up lock for the 14 role.

Instead, Cameron McInnes is there as the guy who can shift into hooker, but even then, he is starting at lock.

Given Hynes goes into the game with a calf problem, it's an enormous gamble.

And on the bench...

Impact, impact and more impact, but the wrong player

Spencer Leniu's selection has understandably raised a few eyebrows.

He has just come back from a long-term suspension after being accused of making a racist remark during the opening round of the season in Las Vegas.

Playing just four games, he is averaging under 100 metres per contest. There is no doubt around his impact, but that's at club level. At Origin level, in a step up, it's hard to see how he is ready to do the same.

NRL Rd 1 - Roosters v Broncos

What makes it even more baffling is that he has been picked ahead of the likes of Utoikamanu or Taniela Paseka, who is averaging almost 140 metres per contest and has been one of Manly's best players over the last 18 months.

That said, if the bench strategy works for the Blues, they will dominate the middle of the game. It's all about aggression with Haumole Olakau'atu - who should realistically have been starting - and Hudson Young also on the pine.

What Isaah Yeo will bring off the bench is anyone's guess, but there is enough there for the Blues to hang their hat on, even if the wrong player is featuring.

Centres, wingers and a prayer that it works

If you had of said pre-season that Joseph Suaalii would line up at centre, and Zac Lomax on the wing for Game 1, you probably would have been laughed all the way out of the building.

Fast forward to the present though, and that's exactly what the Blues have.

Suaalii, who is a winger and off to rugby union at the end of the year to boot, has been picked in a position he has barely had a good NRL game in.

There is a reason the Roosters, despite previously experimenting with Suaalii at centre, name him on the wing whenever they can. It's because he is an excellent winger, and has issues in his game playing further infield.

That's not to say they are unfixable, but they certainly won't be fixed during a ten-day Origin camp.

Lomax, meanwhile, has been the competition's form winger. The last few weeks haven't been quite as good, but then, he has spent some of those games in the centres.

Shane Flanagan moving him to the wing went down like a led balloon pre-season, but on club form, he is more than up to the challenge here.

I wonder if he still doesn't want to play on the wing?

Nicho's injury

There is no getting around the fact that the Blues need Nicho Hynes to play.

Nathan Cleary, Mitchell Moses and Adam Reynolds are all watching on from the sidelines as the Origin series gets underway, and that leaves an empty pantry for the Blues.

They will be sweating on Nicho Hynes passing fit after struggling in recent weeks with a calf problem - and not only passing fit but playing an excellent game.

He is going to have to lead this team around with the second on his back while letting Jarome Luai go to work in the number six next to him.

Luai has been excellent at club level in recent weeks despite the injury to Nathan Cleary, and while it bodes well, his previous Origin performances simply haven't been up to the mark.

Game 1 will be played on Wednesday, June 5.