PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21: Sam Burgess of the Rabbitohs looks on during the round 11 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Melbourne Storm at nib Stadium on May 21, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

With Origin Two to kick off tomorrow night, the greatest rivalry in Australian sport continues as New South Wales look to win the series at a jam-packed ANZ Stadium.

There is no hyperbole in what I just said either, this series it the biggest rivalry in Australian sport.

80,000+ will be at ANZ Stadium, with literally millions upon millions watching the coverage across Australia. Add the many fans who also watch from overseas, and the three-game series attracts a massive audience.

No series captures the competing states like this series. Don’t get me wrong, NSW vs QLD clashes in any sport attracts plenty of attention, as do the games between traditional rivals across many sports, but NOTHING at this sustained level.

It is rightfully referred to as the pinnacle of rugby league. Mal Meninga has brought amazing prestige back to the Kangaroos jersey, but I still believe that the Origin jersey means more to any player than the Green and Gold equivalent.

Of course, the highest level of the game attracts the highest level of superstar players.

With plenty of series Origin coverage in the media for the next 24 hours and beyond, I thought it might be fun to look at the players who would be suiting up tomorrow night if they were eligible to play in the series.

The following are a group of players who could currently expect to be in the selection talks if they were available, and which side they could be selected for.

Jason Taumalolo

New South Wales or Queensland

There is no better lock in the game right now than the Dally M medalist, Kiwi Jason Taumalolo. With all due respect to Josh McGuire and Tyson Frizell, he would walk into either side on any given day. He made a ridiculous 300 metres on Saturday evening against the table-topping Storm (albeit an Origin depleted Storm side). Paul Gallen is still the second best lock in the game, but even he would struggle to keep Taumalolo out of the number 13 jersey.

Sam Burgess

New South Wales or Queensland

Another who would line up for either side. His form hasn’t been that of his ridiculous 2014 season, but even now he’s among the top second rowers/locks in the game. He could even play front row if needed. The English superstar is an elite forward, whatever the number printed on his back, and would look good in either a Blue or Maroon jersey if he were eligible.

Jordan Rapana

New South Wales or Queensland

With all due respect to the incredible four players picked to start on the wing tomorrow night, arguably the best two wingers in the NRL won’t be there come kick off. Those two men being Kiwi Jordan Rapana, and the recently returned Josh Mansour. Rapana’s form is such that he would be chosen on either side’s right wing, especially given the conjecture over that very position for both sides.

Shaun Johnson

New South Wales

At his best Shaun Johnson is a top three halfback in the competition. We all know he’s far from the most consistent performer, but I have no doubt that if he were available, he would have more than the single blue Origin jersey by now. He might even be playing tomorrow night. It was the lack of an obvious alternate option that had Mitchell Pearce back in the frame, however his form his year has been incredible. If Johnson were available, who knows if Pearce would have been presented this opportunity.

Jesse Bromwich

Queensland

With Matt Scott out and the Origin careers of Jacob Lillyman and Nate Myles seemingly over, Jesse Bromwich would start for the Queensland side on any given day. He hasn’t enjoyed his career best year and we are all well aware of his off-field error following the test match, but on talent alone, Bromwich walks into the Queensland side. He’d probably make the New South Wales side too, but he’d certainly be suiting up tomorrow in Maroon. New Zealand, that’s in Queensland, right?

Josh Hodgson

New South Wales

I am a huge fan of Nathan Peats and called for him to be picked for Origin prior to this year, but the Origin debate would have ended early if Josh Hodgson were available. Following on from last year’s form, he has arguably emerged as a top three hooker in the world of rugby league. Sure, he wouldn’t oust Cam Smith for a Maroon jumper, but he would have pipped the likes of Farah last season, and you’d have to imagine would have held onto it this season.

Martin Taupau

Queensland

Much like Bromwich, he’d probably make the side regardless of injuries right now, but given the depleted forward stocks, Martin Taupau would be the second forward picked for the Maroons after Matt Gillett. He’s what Phil Gould would refer to an as ‘Origin player’. He’d push the Blues side, but probably just miss out, but he’d start for Queensland.

Are there any other players I have missed? Would any of the above make the cut? Let us know below.

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