Five Debutants Named in 2016 New South Wales State of Origin Team

May 24th, 2016

The New South Wales Blues are set to blood five debutants following Coach Laurie Daley’s announcement of a nineteen-man squad to face Queensland in Game 1 of the 2016 State of Origin Series.

The New South Wales team, set to be captained by Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sharks), is rich with big forwards, a slick backline and energised bench, including some of the state’s ‘usual suspects’.

Arguably the biggest change Daley has made from the squad which was punished by Queensland in Game 3 of the 2015 series is a new-look halves combination of James Maloney (Cronulla Sharks) at 6 and Adam Reynolds (South Sydney Rabbitohs) at 7.

Maloney played in New South Wales’ ill-fated 2012 squad but laid a great account for himself through three matches, while the Bunnies’ Reynolds has been unlucky not to have been selected off the back of several good seasons recently.

Exciting Penrith Panthers Captain Matt Moylan was expected to be left out of the 2016 New South Wales Blues team after an early season switch to five-eighth, but the twenty-four-year-old’s potency in attack has seemingly demanded his selection at fullback.

Neither of the Morris twins have held their positions in the Blues backline, with Josh Mansour (Penrith Panthers) and Blake Ferguson (Sydney Roosters) to take their positions on the wing, outside a centre pairing of Michael Jennings (Parramatta Eels) and Josh Dugan (St George Illawarra Dragons).

Gallen steers the ship alongside Robbie Farrah (Wests Tigers) and Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers) in the front row, while a likely Josh Jackson (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Boyd Cordner (Sydney Roosters) back row is locked by Greg Bird (Gold Coast Titans).

Dylan Walker (Manly Sea Eagles) has been selected as the team’s utility option on a bench also likely to include front row forwards David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) and James Tamou (North Queensland Cowboys) and Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons).

Front Row option Andrew Fifita (Cronulla Sharks) and Josh Morris (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) are expected to be the two players omitted from the final playing squad in the 2016 NSW Blues team for Game 1.

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