With 17 teams, byes every week and a season where more games need to be played, the impacts of State of Origin will be as big as they have been in 2023 since prior to the Gold Coast Titans joining the competition.
In previous years, every team would play only one game prior to a State of Origin game and without stars.
That has gone out the back window in 2023 though, with no week off before Origin 2, and more than half of the competition playing prior to each Origin game.
The Origin period stretches from Round 13 to Round 20 as follows:
- Round 13: Before Origin 1 - Origin players not allowed to play.
- Round 14: After Origin 1 - Origin players backing up.
- Round 15: Normal round.
- Round 16: Before Origin 2 - Origin players not allowed to play.
- Round 17: After Origin 2 - Origin players backing up.
- Round 18: Normal round.
- Round 19: Before Origin 3 - Origin players not allowed to play.
- Round 20: After Origin 3 - Origin players backing up.
Following the announcement of both squads on Monday morning, here is how your team will be impacted by the State of Origin window.
NSW Blues Game 1 squad
QLD Maroons Game 1 squad
Note: This article assumes squads would remain the same across the Origin series.
Current ladder position: 1st, 16 points, + 139
Players selected: Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai Brian To'o, Isaah Yeo
Origin period fixtures: Round 13: Bye, Round 14: vs Dragons (h), Round 15: vs Roosters (a), Round 16: vs Cowboys (a), Round 17: vs Knights (h), Round 18: vs Storm (a), Round 19: Bye, Round 20: vs Dolphins (a)
As predicted, the Panthers have four Origin representatives for the series opener, with Stephen Crichton missing out on a jersey in Brad Fittler's New South Wales side.
They lose half of their spin with Cleary and Luai out, while lock forward Yeo is also instrumental. To'o is the 'easiest' of the quartet to replace, but still difficult, particularly given Taylan May is out for the year.
However, the Panthers benefit from one of the easiest Origin draws in the competition.
They have a bye prior to Origin 1 and Origin 3, meaning they will only be forced to play a single game without their Origin stars - that being Round 16 away against the Cowboys.
They do back up from all three Origins, but have a Sunday night clash against the Dragons after Game 1, giving as much recovery time as possible. They then play the struggling Knights at home on Saturday evening after Game 2 and have a Sunday game against the Dolphins after Game 3. It's conceivable Penrith's Origin players may only miss one or two games.
Liam Martin was also picked for the Panthers?
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