BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12: Blues players look dejected after game three of the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 12, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

It’s that time of the year when State of Origin predicted team lists begin to run rampant. Today, I’ll be running the rue over which players I think it will take New South Wales to end the 12 years of dominance they have endured at the hands of the Queensland Maroons.

D-Day should have arrived at least a half-decade ago but with the arrival of Brad Fittler and Andrew Johns to head the coaching staff, it looks like a max player exodus is finally on the cards as New South Wales are on the verge of blooding as many as 10 fresh faces come Game I on June 6.

Here’s the side through 1-17 in which I believe stand the best chance to end Queensland’s 12-year reign of dominance in the State of Origin arena.

  1. James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)

Has been an underwhelming signing for his new club thus far but he remains New South Wales’ best option at fullback.

  1. Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm)

The best winger New South Wales has to offer.

  1. Euan Aitken (St. George Illawarra Dragons)

Has already outplayed Queensland’s centre combination Greg Inglis and Will Chambers multiple times this season, who’s to say he won’t be able to do it again?

  1. Latrell Mitchell (Sydney Roosters)

His defence at times is a bit of a worry but could prove to be the X-Factor on New South Wales’ right edge. Has been one of the Roosters’ best over the past 12 months.

  1. Clinton Gutherson (Parramatta Eels
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Having only returned from a nasty ACL injury last month, Gutherson is yet to hit the form that saw him touted a future Origin player in 2017. Nonetheless, New South Wales must move on from the flailing Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson combination.

  1. Blake Green (New Zealand Warriors)

The biggest issue in having Blake Green in the New South Wales side will be the tenuous travel he’ll have to endure. A must have, he’ll be the perfect foil for whichever halfback New South Wales end up deciding upon.

  1. Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)

May be injured but he must be rushed back. Is the undisputed future of this Blues side while the likes of James Maloney, Adam Reynolds and Luke Brooks are much too inconsistent for the State of Origin arena.

  1. Paul Vaughn (St. George Illawarra Dragons)

Should have been there last year.

  1. Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Will cut the ageing Queensland forward pack to threads with his smart running game from dummy-half.

  1. Ryan James (Gold Coast Titans)

As long as he’s not selected in the back row… Ryan James is the perfect option to start alongside Paul Vaughn in the front row.

  1. Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters)

Will be the most experienced player in the side. Captain.

  1. Wade Graham (Cronulla Sharks)

Not in the best form at the minute but will provide a formidable back row alongside Cordner. His ball playing and kicking game will come in handy.

  1. Jack De Belin (St. George Illawarra Dragons)
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The first player picked. Born for State of Origin football. Will cap off a phenomenal rise for de Belin who was once regarded a fringe first grader circa 2015.

  1. Cody Walker (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Will provide the spark from the bench in a 15-20-minute stint. Also provides injury cover for the outside backs.

  1. Dale Finucane (Melbourne Storm)

Will provide Jack De Belin with a 25-minute breather.

  1. Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)

Has been in poor form but remains a better option than Aaron Woods and David Klemmer in the front row rotation.

  1. Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Penrith Panthers)

Much like Jack de Belin, the man they call ‘RCG’ has hit a meteoric rise over the past 18-mnths as he’s finally hit his full potential.

  1. Tyson Frizell (St. George Illawarra Dragons)

Alongside teammate Tariq Sims, very hard not to find a spot for Frizell in the side. Will be first forward in should Graham or Trbojevic underperform in Game I.

  1. Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles) 

Has been quite poor over the opening two months of football but with everything going on in Brookvale; should New South Wales call upon his services, he may very well hit some form once that weight has been taken from his shoulders.

  1. Angus Crichton (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Has underperformed so far this season but should he hit the heights he did in 2017, will be an enticing option for coach Brad Fittler.

  1. Tyrone Peachey (Penrith Panthers)

Another utility option on the bench for the Blues.


  1. Graham and Cordner both play the same edge, so I probably wouldn’t have both of them starting. It’s an alright team, James is still a few things away from being an Origin play so to Walker, but Maloney is a must for Origin based on his good form. Him and Green play the both side so it’s either one or the other. Based on talent and all round game, Walker and Bird would be my starting 3 and 4, but I’ll go with form on this one. This would be my team:

    1. Tedesco
    2. Addo-Carr
    3. Mitchell
    4. Aitken
    5. Trobjevic
    6. Maloney
    7. Cleary
    8. Vaughan
    9. Cook
    10. Klemmer
    11. Cordner
    12. Frizell
    13. Trobjevic

    14. Bird
    15. Campbell-Gillard
    16. De Belin
    17. Graham

    • Agree with the Friz pick but Bird was completely wasted last year. I get that Fitler might make better use of him but if NSW aren’t going to use the utility role properly then they should just carry another forward.

      I’d also say that Trobjevic would come off the bench with more energy than De Belin.

      • i honestly think Fittler sees a lot of himself in Bird if I’m being honest, but who you ever starts out of JT or JDB won’t really bother us, they’ll both do a great job!

  2. Maloney could play 7 and Green 6 otherwise probably will be Reynolds 7 Maloney 6. Cleary has been out to long for a rookie to be rushed into such a big game without match fitness. Bird has no hope

    • Green and maloney both play left side, would be such a big ask for someone to play on the right given they’re so use to defending on the left side. Reynolds is good but he isn’t great and wasn’t really that good in 2016, Cleary will be there no matter what.

      • Maloney is playing 7 at Penrith with great success, which means he has a free reign and is all over the park on either side. Same goes for Green who is a 5/8 and in attack plays both sides. In defence they are structured but not attack. Green has lifted the under performing Warriors of the past to 2nd place. Maloney is a certainty, Green has had a brilliant season and will go mighty close. Cleary will not make the team and that is for sure. How can Fittler and his team pick a player who will be lucky to play 3 games before an Origin after such a huge lay off through injury. It would be suicidal and irresponsible for the selectors to pick Cleary. Had he not been injured he was going to play but that has all changed now.

        • Wasn’t really talking about attack, but defence in general. Our right side is QLDs favourite side to attack, we put Maloney or Green there who aren’t use to defending on the right side, we’d probably be in some trouble. But I do agree with having Green there if Cleary isn’t picked, would rather have him over Reynolds and Keary if I’m being honest.

  3. 1. Tedesco
    2. Addo-Carr
    3. Mitchell
    4. Aitken
    5. Gutherson
    6. Maloney
    7. Green
    8. Vaughan
    9. Cook
    10. Campbell-Gillard
    11. Cordner
    12. Graham
    13. Trbojevic
    14. Walker
    15. Campbell-Gillard
    16. Frizell
    17. Finucane

  4. Big fan of King Guth but he has only just come back from his 2nd ACL.
    That is the only reason he doesn’t make my team.

  5. What have the blues got to lose???!
    3 games straight and another series loss.
    That’s what!!!

  6. Tedesco
    J Trbojevic


    I think NSW needs to move on from Woods and Klemmer. Bird cannot be an option – poor defence, no attack or composure and in very bad form.

  7. 1. Tedesco
    2. Gutherson/mansour
    3. Aitken
    4. Roberts
    5. Addo Carr
    6. Maloney
    7. Cleary
    8. Klemmer
    9. McInnes/cook
    10 Vaughan
    11 Jackson
    12 Frizell
    13 Cordner

    14 Cody Walker
    15 Jack De Belin
    16. Junior Paulo
    17 Jordan McLean

    18 Campbell Gillard
    19 Crichton
    20 j.trbojevic
    21. Finucane

  8. 1 Tedesco
    2 T Trbojevic
    3 Aitken
    4 Mitchell
    5 Addo-Carr
    6 Maloney
    7 Cleary
    8 Vaughan
    9 McInnes
    10 Campbell-Gillard
    11 Cordner
    12 Frizell
    13 J Trbojevic

    14 Cook
    15 De-Belin
    16 Klemmer
    17 Graham

    18 T Sims
    19 Cotric
    20 Gutherson

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