The New South Wales lineup built on the back of in form players. This is what many of us would like to see, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Laurie Daley has a chance to butcher it.
Fullback – James Tedesco
There’s a reason why Teddy commands in the millions for his contracts. Perfect combination of speed and skill that works in both attack and defence. Even Laurie couldn’t stuff up this pick.
Winger – Blake Ferguson
Ferguson has me so confused. So many times he’s top-notch quality and other times he gives you nothing. I’ll trust Fergo and hand him another origin jersey for now. His recent form has warranted it.
Centre – Jack Bird
There’s no arguing he’s a future origin fixture in the Blues line up. Bird isn’t the fastest, or the strongest but he’s one clever player who uses all his skills to make things happen. He’s also got that deep down drive that’s crucial in origin matches. I’m comfortable giving him the Jersey from this season.
Centre – Josh Dugan
Hard to see Dugan missing out on this one. I’ve been critical of Dugan in the past, but he has had a stellar year and really proven his current worth now healthy. He’s no Tedesco but he should be considered to match up against Queensland’s Centres.
Winger – James Roberts
Deep down I know he wont be chosen. But when you really think about it, Roberts has a great mix of size, aggression and breakneck speed that you want in an Origin outside back. His health has always been a major concern but if healthy he would be a downright weapon on the fringes of the NSW attack.
Five Eighth – James Maloney
Caps off for winning the title, but really hasn’t done enough to warrant the jersey outright. This selection is more due to a lack of alternatives than Maloney’s talent.
Halfback – Mitchell Pearce
Haven’t been the biggest fan of Pearce, especially in origin but I’m starting to think that the old canine incident woke up a talent pool in Pearce that many thought never existed. Pearce has been making sound decisions and playing within his ability. I like the calmer look of Pearce.
Prop – Andrew Fifita
In origin you need that grub factor. With Gallen set to possibly miss his first origin selection since 1935, Fifita is a must to give the niggle as well as the Queenslanders give it.
Hooker – Nathan Peats
Health, form and Robbie Farah have impacted Peats getting this jersey. He’s back from injury, finding his form and his number one contender in my eyes, Damien Cook is being drawn into a competition with Farah for dummy half jerseys at Souths. Farah can’t be given the jersey and Peats with a game or two more should get back to origin level.
Prop – Paul Vaughn
Easily the form prop of the competition. If he isn’t starting, the it will literally take a Blues collapse for the squad to be changed. I can already see Daley inserting Woods into this position who’s achieved the square root of diddlysquat over the last few months.
Second Row – Tyson Frizell
Absolute beast. Not much else to say, he’s proven to be a workhorse and a consistent one at that. Frizzell is a lock for the Second Row
Second Row – Boyd Cordner
Cordner is an all star. He should be in contention for the captaincy of this squad. Cordner slots into a formidable back row and with his bash brothers beside him could give the likes of Cooper and Cronk fits as he charges at them.
Lock – Wade Graham
Despite his larger frame Graham possesses a lot of skill for a big man. He’s got the motor to last long in these big contests and has game-breaking ability which when it gets to crunch time is an invaluable asset.
By Nik Hatzi