Sunday 17 December 2017 / 05:26 PM

TWO BLUES DEBUTS IN LOZ’S SQUAD

Mitchell Pearce’s Origin redemption story had its first chapter written, but Robbie Farahs’ NSW tenure is officially over following the naming of Laurie Daley’s squad for the 2017 series opener.

Daley named two debutants in his 17 – Nathan Peats, who starts at hooker at Farah’s expense, and Test forward Jake Trbojevic – while issuing recalls for Pearce, Jarryd Hayne and Brett Morris.

QUEENSLAND MAROONS SQUAD FOR STATE OF ORIGIN GAME 1, 2017

Pearce partners former Roosters teammate James Maloney in the halves, while Hayne returns to the Origin arena for the first time since spearheading the Blues’ 2014 series triumph, named at left centre ahead of Michael Jennings.

Josh Dugan is the other centre despite not having played since the Anzac Test; bench utility Jack Bird will move to right centre should Dugan be ruled out, with Matt Moylan – named in an extend squad with uncapped forwards Jordan McLean and Jack De Belin – to promoted to the interchange.

James Tedesco held of a late challenge from Moylan to be retained at fullback.

QUEENSLAND MAROONS SQUAD FOR STATE OF ORIGIN GAME 1, 2017

Morris is one of the bigger surprises in the squad, coming back into the fold after injury rubbed him out of contention in 2016. Tom Trbojevic’s injury in Round 10 seemingly opened up the wing berth for the Bulldogs veteran.

Peats’ maiden call-up came on the back of an injury to Penrith’s Peter Wallace, who was set to end an eight-year Origin exile before breaking down at Newcastle yesterday. The fact Peats is an 80-minute hooker – along with the fact he will allow Pearce and Maloney to unequivocally call the shots – surely prompted Daley to move on from the long-serving Farah.

There was no room for everyone’s favourite bolter, Paul Vaughan, with a front-row rotation of Andrew Fifita, Aaron Woods, David Klemmer and Jake Trbojevic preferred. Josh Jackson won a starting second-row slot ahead of Wade Graham, who is on the bench, and will partner new NSW captain Boyd Cordner with Tyson Frizell at lock.

NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES SQUAD – STATE OF ORIGIN GAME 1, 2017

1. James Tedesco
2. Blake Ferguson
3. Josh Dugan
4. Jarryd Hayne
5. Brett Morris
6. James Maloney
7. Mitchell Pearce
8. Aaron Woods
9. Nathan Peats
10. Andrew Fifita
11. Josh Jackson
12. Boyd Cordner (c)
13. Tyson Frizell

14. David Klemmer
15. Wade Graham
16. Jake Trbojevic
17. Jack Bird

18. Matt Moylan
19. Jordan McLean
20. Jack De Belin

QUEENSLAND MAROONS SQUAD FOR STATE OF ORIGIN GAME 1, 2017

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About the author

Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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