Following the completion of the Prelims, the Maroons have added seven players to their squad. Below is a break down of the players added.
Could this be the year where the Roosters captain and long stay number nine finally makes his Origin debut? If it weren’t for a pretty handy number nine by the name of Cameron Smith, Friend would surely have at least a handful of Origin jumpers to his name.
Ben Hunt probably leads the way with young Harry Grant likely to nab a bench spot with a look to the future, but I have no issues if Friend is selected. He certainly wouldn’t let anyone down. Will tackle himself to an absolute standstill but probably lacks the flair of Grant.
A brilliant selection by the master coach. A master stroke from the master coach? Lindsay Collins has Origin written all over him.
He’s big, aggressive and never, EVER takes a backwards step. I’m excited to see the Roosters firebrand bashing and crashing his way through an expected Origin One debut.
MUST be in the squad (most likely from the bench) for Origin One. Surely. Big fan of Collins. Love this selection.
The South Sydney second rower had a wow of a season and looks a near certainty to make his Origin debut on November 4th. He was legit in the running for a spot in the Dally M team as a second rower.
Kaufusi has one side wrapped up but Su’A is in the running for a run on spot now that David Fifita won’t feature. His defence will be absolutely key out wide for the Maroons with the Blues centres and second rowers likely to see plenty of ball.
92% tackle efficiency and over 100 metres a game this year make this an easy, and probably overdue selection.
The South Sydney youngster has gone from a reserve grader to genuine chance of an Origin debut in a matter of months.
Allan was absolutely incredible stepping into the shoes of Latrell Mitchell in the number one for the Bunnies. Equally at home in the centres or on the wing, my draft Origin teams have him just missing out although shortening with every update.
If he has avoided injury in his monster Prelim performance, he could find himself on the wing for Queensland sooner rather than later. I can’t see him topping Brimson for the fullback role just yet. One for the future.
The Origin superstar was an absolute no brainer. Gagai has literally won a series for his state and will be an automatic selection. Best at this level on the wing, he’s never played a bad game while wearing Maroon.
May find himself in the centres through necessity but I’d have him as a winger with absolutely no second guessing. Gagai was fantastic for the Rabbits in 2020 after an up and down 2019 and his experience will be huge for an expected young Maroon backline.
A shock inclusion of sorts, however very much deserved. The Raiders big man has enjoyed a career best season and although I think he’ll ultimately miss selection for Origin One, there’s a chance he may be called upon later in the series.
He put up good numbers for the Green Machine in 2020. The 30 year old averaged almost 100 metres a game despite short stints, as he played into the forward rotation. Could emerge as a hit man of sorts for the Maroons if called upon.
The main man in terms of the Maroon forwards comes in the form of the game’s best prop, Josh Papalii. He will be tasked with making big metres and setting the tone in defence from the kick off. There is no better man for the job.
Automatic selection and as easy a decision as will ever been made. Papalii has been huge in his Origin career to date and I expect him to again lead the way for those north of the Tweed come Game One. His potential clash with Junior Paulo is absolutely mouth-watering. Key for his side!