Tuesday 20 February 2018 / 04:42 AM

NSW name team for Origin series opener

The New South Wales Blues have revealed their line-up for the opening match of their State of Origin series defence, including a pair of Canterbury engine-room debutants and several incumbent casualties.

Mitchell Pearce has earned a recall in the unfamiliar No.6 jumper, partnering Bulldogs halfback and 2014 hero Trent Hodkinson in the halves as Josh Reynolds’ erratic form and James Maloney’s defensive deficiencies counted against the five-eighth contenders.

Daniel Tupou and Will Hopoate have been named on the wings, with recent Test debutant Alex Johnston missing out.

Utility Luke Lewis is arguably the biggest surprise omission, while Josh Jackson will debut at lock and fellow 2014 Four Nations star David Klemmer making his first Origin appearance off the bench, where he has been joined by the returning Andrew Fifita.

Origin I will be played at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Wednesday, May 27.  

1. Josh Dugan

2. Daniel Tupou

3. Josh Morris

4. Michael Jennings

5. Will Hopoate

6. Mitchell Pearce

7. Trent Hodkinson

8. Aaron Woods

9. Robbie Farah (c)

10. James Tamou

11. Beau Scott

12. Ryan Hoffman

13. Josh Jackson


14. Trent Merrin

15. Boyd Cordner

16. David Klemmer

17. Andrew Fifita

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