There are some players who are just built for Origin. Unfortunately there are also those few players who, while they excel at club level, don't seem to be able to make the jump into the representative arena.
Having won the series last year the Blues are expected to name (injury allowing) a side with a strong 2018 nucleus.
There will be forced changes and a few will come through either a dip in form or undeniable form elsewhere.
The below players are those who ARE going to be picked. Of course, a lot can happen between now and Game One, but I'll be shocked (again, injury allowing) if the below aren't read out.
James Tedesco: Literally the first player named is the Roosters, Origin and Kangaroos number one, James Tedesco. In my opinion, he was in the top two players last year and was wrongly overlooked for the player of the series award. There are plenty of class fullbacks in the game right now but following the retirement of Billy Slater, Teddy is THE number one. There is literally nothing he can't do. He has Origin success, he has form, he has an incredible skill set. No brainer. Zero chance he is overlooked unless injured.
Damien Cook: If Tedesco wasn't the player of the 2018 Origin series, Cook was. There were worries that his game would go backwards under Wayne Bennett, but there have been so signs of that happening across the opening three weeks. He's one of the most dangerous players in the game right now and for mine the best number nine, by a considerable margin. If anything I expect his game to grow under Bennett. Second player picked. Only injury can deny him a second straight Origin series.
Boyd Cordner: The victorious 2018 skipper will be there to lead his side again this season. Cordner is as close to the complete second-rower as you can possibly get. He probably lacks the kicking game of say a Wade Graham but otherwise he is elite. Brilliant in defence, a tireless worker, always dents the line in attack, capable of producing second phase play, a leader. In. Signed, sealed, delivered!
Latrell Mitchell: Latrell is one of maybe two I expect a few arguments for, but for mine is an absolute no-brainer decision. He was the difference in game two last year and had an incredible series. He absolutely bathed Will Chambers, who until that series was the best centre in the game. He's filled in, well, in the halves through need at the Roosters so has the ball-playing experience to add to his weapon running game. He is easily riled up but is built for Origin.
Josh Addo-Carr: The second I expect to see a few queries on, but again, a player I'd pick without a second thought. His partnership with Mitchell was literally series defining last season. If anything, Addo-Carr has improved as a footballer since then. Provides genuine X-Factor. I usually hate that term but it sums up the Fox. He's so quick it only takes half a chance and he's under the sticks. You need those kind of players.
Tom Trbojevic: If there was any doubt about Turbo's talents in 2019 coming back from injury, they lasted of all 15 minutes. He was electric against the Warriors and will continue to star for his Manly side. He won't be named fullback due to Tedesco's selection but will fill in at either wing or in the centres. Incredible in the air, quick, agile and super tough, there's no person in the world who wouldn't pick Turbo in their side.
Jake Trbojevic: With Jack de Belin likely to miss the series, Jurbo becomes the ONLY option at lock. He'd be there regardless of de Belin's availability, but will start. For mine, he is behind perhaps only Taumalolo as the best 13 in the game. He (or anyone) can't match the intensity of the Tongan megastar, but his ball playing skills are far superior. Huge weapon for the Blues.
David Klemmer: First forward picked (after Cordner). Klemmer has been an absolute beast for the Knights since moving from the Dogs in the off-season. A Blues and Kangaroos pack leader, Klemmer is a fixture in the rep arena for as long as he wants to be. Full of aggression and go forward, he'll start and aim to bash his Maroons counterparts. Automatic selection.
Tyson Frizell: Named to return this weekend but probably a week away, Frizell is a machine. He is built for rep footy. He will tackle all day, will run the ball in difficult situations, and can move the ball. With the game on the line and a difficult hit up to be made, I'm throwing the ball to the Dragons megastar. Safe as houses. I love cheering Friz on in the sky blue each season.
Let us know below whether you think a selection (or non-selection) shock is on the cards.