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NSW Origin team: Laurie Daley makes seven changes

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NSW State of Origin team announced

RAW VISION: New South Wales Premier Mike Baird announces the Blues' State of Origin team for game one, including two debutants and the new halves pairing of Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds.

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The NSW Blues have unveiled a new halves combination for the opening game of the State of Origin series with Bulldogs duo Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds replacing Roosters pair Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney.

Hodkinson is one of two debutants in Laurie Daley's Blues team named on Tuesday morning, with Roosters winger Daniel Tupou replacing James McManus on the wing for NSW.

Daley made seven changes to the team that finished last year's series with a two-point loss to the Maroons at ANZ Stadium.

Blues brothers in arms: halves duo Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds.

Blues brothers in arms: halves duo Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds. Photo: Getty Images

‘‘It was a tough decision to change halves but in the best interests of the team I thought it was necessary,’’ Daley said on Wednesday.

Daley said Pearce’s off-field problems, when he was arrested in King Cross after refusing to leave a nightclub, had taken part in the Roosters halfback being left out of the team.

‘‘I took everything into consideration, I've spoken to Mitch a number of times before I made the decision ... the right decision was to leave him out for game one.

Fullback: Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta) Click for more photos

NSW squad for Origin I

The 17 players who have been tasked with ending Queensland's eight-year winning streak in State of Origin. Photo: Getty Images

‘‘He's a wonderful man, but he's made an error and he knows what he has to do ... it's not a phone call you want to make and it's not a decision you take lightly."

Daley said it was a calculated gamble to go with the pairing of Hodkinson and Reynolds.

Asked if the team could halt Queensland's Origin domination, Daley said: ‘‘I can't answer that, I can only answer this - this team will be very well prepared ... you can never promise victory. All I know is you can prepare a football team as best as you possibly can.’’

As expected, Jarryd Hayne won the fullback jersey over St George Illawarra's Josh Dugan, set to play his first game for the Blues since starring in game one last year.

Andrew Fifita (ankle), Boyd Cordner (knee) and Greg Bird (suspended) are all unavailable for the first game at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday night.

Knights backrower Beau Scott, who missed Monday night's clash against Manly with an abdominal strain, has been selected in the second row alongside fellow veteran Ryan Hoffman to play his first game for the Blues since 2012.

Also making his return to the Blues fold is Canterbury wrecking-ball Tony Williams, who also last represented his state two years ago.

Luke Lewis, Anthony Watmough and Trent Merrin have all been selected on the bench alongside Williams, with Aaron Woods to start in the front-row with James Tamou.

Skipper Paul Gallen, who missed last year's decider at ANZ Stadium through injury, has been selected in the familiar lock position.

Daley has stuck with the same centre pairing as last series with Canterbury's Josh Morris and Roosters' Michael Jennings to play inside of Brett Morris and Tupou.

NSW: Hayne, B Morris, J Morris, Jennings, Tupou, Reynolds, Hodkinson, Woods, Farah, Tamou, Scott, Hoffman, Gallen. Res: Merrin, Watmough, Williams, Lewis


  • Beau Scott? Seriously? What was it Einstein said about insanity?

    Here's an idea, instead of picking Scott to try and contain Inglis, how about picking somebody that will make Inglis accountable and think more about defence then attack?

    Will Josh reynolds run forwards, or sideline to sideline as usual?

    Then there's the T-Rex selected to go missing

    Date and time
    May 20, 2014, 12:31PM
    • And the first comment is why Queenslanders think they have it all over us...there is little or no problem with Qldrs picking players who are not playing very well for their clubs, such as Boyd and Papali. They know the boys will get into the team, want to be there as Mal said, everyone will get behind them and they will play up to the standard required...In NSW we pick a team, then everyone picks it to pieces rather than support it...almost wishing it to fail so the doomsday predictions come true

      This is a good team. WE have a really strong bench that will create absolute havoc...WE have the halves pairing that is actually in form, with size, aggression and Hodgkinson has kicked some great field goals under all sorts of pressure, a real cool headed bloke who should do really well in this environment. Our backs are in form, the whole team is in form for their clubs, lets get them together and see what they can do and trust Lozza to prepare them well as he said he will...

      Col the Pariah
      Date and time
      May 20, 2014, 3:21PM
    • The passenger from last year Aaron Woods is rewarded with a starting birth. He played all of 8 minutes in last year's decider (and did not return which was fitting as he made negative meters and missed three tackles), did next to nothing in the City Country match and is pretty average at club level as well. Total garbage. We have lost this already. Why not take Timmy Manner instead? Stronger bloke who will be hungrier. Our halves are rubbish no matter who we select. Personally I would like to see Birdy go back to 5/8 with Maloney pushed into number 7 for game two. At least we will have another forward in the middle of the park who will hurt the halves when tackling. With this current side NSW will lose 3-0. I won't be watching as I said last year that if Woods was selected I won't be turning up to watch. I won't even be watching it on the TV. Origin died with Laurie's appointment.

      blah blah
      Date and time
      May 20, 2014, 6:08PM
  • Would of gone with Pearce and Maloney. Hodkinson won't handle the pressure.

    Date and time
    May 20, 2014, 12:35PM
    • So Mitchell Peirce handled the pressure well did he? 3 wins from 12 appearances certainly backs that up.

      enough is enough
      The Kennel
      Date and time
      May 20, 2014, 1:44PM
  • Daley dumped them? Aren't the selectors Fulton, McCarthy and Gerard?

    The Dog
    Date and time
    May 20, 2014, 12:36PM
    • No. Daley is selector, with Fulton as "advisor".

      Date and time
      May 20, 2014, 1:28PM
    • Not anymore, it was changed.

      Date and time
      May 20, 2014, 1:39PM
  • Not a bad side really. QLD 3-0

    Date and time
    May 20, 2014, 12:45PM
    • Yawn. Does anyone really care anymore?

      Raymond Terrace
      Date and time
      May 20, 2014, 12:50PM

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