Jarrod Wallace, Coen Hess, Valentine Holmes and Tim Glasby are set to make their State of Origin debuts for Queensland in Sydney next Wednesday, while Jake Trbojevic and Nathan Peats could hardly have been more impressive in their first outings for NSW in Game 1.
Commentary Box Sports is counting down the finest debut appearances in State of Origin’s 38 seasons, and taking out top spot is mercurial NSW three-quarter Michael O’Connor.
Former Wallaby O’Connor won his initial NSW call-up for the 1985 series opener in his third season at St George.
On a wet and muddy night at Lang Park, the brilliant centre raced in for the only two tries of the match and added five goals to hold a monopoly on the Blues’ scoresheet in an emphatic 18-2 victory.
O’Connor’s 18-point haul remained an Origin record for 15 years, while he went on to set NSW marks for most appearances, tries and points – of which the latter two still stand – in a decorated representative career.