Welcome back to Origin watch! Although the interstate series will be taking place at the end of the season, speculation re: the Origin team make up is starting to creep in.
After a breakout performance we hear constant calls of “he’s a future Origin player” to the point where we will need squads of 45 players to fit them all in.
Over the coming weeks we’ll look at some of the battles for spots, the outsiders, potential rookies, and ultimately name our sides. Today, we are listing those dead set certainties who, if fit, will be there without a shadow of a doubt.
These aren’t players I believe will be there, these are players who WILL be there unless they’re injured.
Let us know below if we missed anyone, or if any of the below are any sort of chance to miss selection:
The first player picked in any side, anywhere in the world, is the world’s elite player James Tedesco. Despite the red hot form of Ryan Papenhuyzen and incredible skills of Tommy Turbo, there is only one man to fill the number one jersey.
The back to back Premiership winning custodian was Player of the Series in 2019, and should have been the winner of the 2018 medal also. Simply put there is no more important player in rugby league right now than the Roosters fullback. First player picked and the very definition of automatic selection in 2020. Only injury can deny him his spot despite some more than decent competition.
The skipper becomes the second Roosters player on the list and, for mine, is the second automatic selection. Cordner cops a lot of flack for some incredible reason but his leadership is almost as important to club, state and country, as his abilities as a footballer.
The wide running second rower has a mortgage on the left back rower position despite a would be challenge in the form of Wade Graham. He will captain the team for as long as he is there. Despite suffering a slow start to the season due to injury, Cordner is an elite back rower and leads from the front. Automatic!
The first non Rooster comes in the form of Manly’s Tommy Turbo. There is no doubt in the world that, if fit, Trbojevic will be in the squad. He stared in Origin 2 last year for the Blues in the centres, although can fill in just as easily at wing, or even at fullback if Tedesco is unavailable.
He was the difference last season in Game 2, despite the blowout scoreline. He started the rout, he continued the rout and he finished the rout. His leap over Ponga was a thing of beauty and his hattrick in front of a huge crowd in Perth will live on in memory.
This may cause some controversy as his form this season hasn’t exactly broken records, but Cook’s abilities are so far above any of the alternatives it’s not even a close contest. Cook tore the Maroons to pieces at times in last year’s series and proved a huge advantage for those south of the Tweed.
Queensland simply don’t have anyone who can match Cook. They have handy options but Cook’s speed, toughness and ability to break the line out of nowhere hand delivers a red hot advantage for the Sky Blues.
It’s not often that a winger is a ‘certainty’ but Josh Addo Carr walks into any side in the world in his preferred wing position. His potential match up with Valentine Holmes in this year’s series may literally decide where the Shield lands in 2020. Hyperbole perhaps, but that’s how important the Fox is.
His speed off the mark hands the Blues another advantage that the Maroons just don’t have. Val is lightning quick, but Addo-Carr can burn anyone at any time. He’s not so slowly become the ultimate winger under Bellamy and means that coach Brad Fittler only has one option.
The final member of the certainties list if the second Sea Eagle and the second member of the Trbojevic family in the form of Jake. Only a World XIII side consisting of Jason Taumalolo would see Jurbo miss selection at lock for any side.
His ball playing ability adds an avenue of attack that no other player allows (to that level). McGuire is an amazing lock forward but plays in a completely different way. Jurbo can bust a defence open with his size, footwork and aggression, or he can run to the line and deliver a soft hands pass that any halfback in the competition would be jealous of.
I’d argue that outside of the above six players, every other player could be argued. That includes the red-hot form of Angus Crichton, or the inclusion of Origin mainstay Tyson Frizell. Even Paul Vaughan and David Klemmer face incredible competition for spots this season.
Luke Keary is in red hot form but who is to say the Blues won’t go for Cleary and Pearce?
Alas, there is no chance in the world that the above six players aren’t there come Origin 1 unless suffering from injury.