As State of Origin nears, players are clamouring to put their best foot forward to secure a spot in the squads for the coveted series.
With just under three weeks to go until game one at the MCG how are the players at your club placed to secure a spot in their respective squads?
The young Broncos have some exciting talent hopeful of a spot in the Queensland squad.
Exciting winger Xavier Coates should be a lock in this year’s squad after a solid debut last year.
A vacancy at hooker has thrust Jake Turpin into the mix while prop Thomas Flelger is also in contention for his first appearance in the squad.
Unfortunately for Patrick Carrigan a torn ACL will mean he won’t be making an appearance in this year’s squad.
For New South Wales, expect 21-year-old Payne Haas to be in the squad after playing all three games last season, the final two as the starting prop.
While Tevita Pangai Jr could also be in line for selection after pledging his allegiance to the Blues in April.
Josh Papalii has been a staple of the Maroons side for the past four series, playing every game in that time. However, Papalii will miss this year’s game one due to suspension but will be back in contention for game two.
Dunamis Lui will also be in contention for the squad after making his debut last year.
Last year’s Dally M Medallist Jack Wighton should be included in the Blues squad after slotting in nicely to his centre role.
Offseason acquisition Corey Allan made his debut for Queensland in game three last year, but a recent shoulder injury means he will be touch and go for game one.
Prop Dylan Napa missed out on selection for last year’s series despite playing seven games in the three years prior. He is also returning from a shoulder injuries which may hurt his selection chances.
Winger Nick Cotric made his Origin debut in 2019 but couldn’t find his way into the settled Blues backfield last year. The dynamic winger should again feature in the squad after a solid start with his new club.
The Sharks were one of three teams to have no Origin representative’s last season, a trend that could continue into this year.
Hooker Blayke Brailey has begun to mount a case for future Blues selection after making the number nine jersey his own over the past 18 months.
Fullback Will Kennedy is another who may be a chance for the Blues in the future after scoring seven tries already this season, a career high.
Gold Coast Titans
The Titans have a whole host of young players beginning their Origin career.
Fullback AJ Brimson had his chance to cement his spot as the Maroons fullback of the future when he debuted in game one last year but missed the rest of the series after suffering a foot injury.
Winger Phillip Sami made his debut last year, as did prop Moeaki Fotuaika and lock Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, all of which are in line for selection again.
Forward pair David Fifita and Jarrod Wallace are looking to return to the Maroons set up after injury forced them out of last years series.
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Manly Sea Eagles
Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans has done his chances of retaining the captaincy no harm throughout the early part of the season yet again showing he is one of the premier halfbacks in the competition.
Despite stiff competition coming from young Blues forwards, Jake Trbojevic should make the squad considering his experience in the Blues jersey.
Despite an injury riddled 18 months Tom Trbojevic has done his chances of selection no harm. The fullback has scored seven tries through his first five games of the season.
The Storm had the most representatives last year with eight, expect a similar number this year from the reigning premiers.
Cameron Munster has again demonstrated throughout the early part of the season that he is Queensland’s premier five-eighth, the only thing between him and game one is a recent foot injury.
Forward pair Christian Welch and Felise Kafusi have done their hopes of making this year’s squad no harm with their form to start the season.
Harry Grant’s return to the Storm hasn’t slowed down the Dally M Rookie of the Year winner. With the biggest hole in the Queensland side at hooker expect Grant to be in the mix despite being expected to return from injury around game one.
Winger Brenko Lee featured in last year’s Queensland squad, but the 25-year-old is yet to register a game this season due to ongoing soft tissue injuries.
For the Blues, winger Josh Addo-Carr has hit form at the right time as the dynamic winger has worked his way into the season scoring nine tries in the last two games.
Fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen is one of the young fullbacks chasing the coveted number one jersey for the Blues and has been in ripping form to start the season, but a serious head knock from round ten could have him in doubt for game one.
New co-captain Dale Finucane also featured in last year’s New South Wales squad but has also been battling injury, playing four of the first ten games this season.
The Knights raft of young talent is starting to develop into Origin calibre players.
Kalyn Ponga burst onto the Origin scene in 2019 after the retirement of Billy Slater, playing all three games. He missed last year’s series due to a shoulder injury, but since returned for the Knights scoring four tries in five matches and putting himself squarely back in Origin contention.
Centre Hymel Hunt featured in last year’s Queensland squad but didn’t play a game while five-eighth Kurt Mann has put himself in contention after a good start to the season.
Forward duo Daniel Safiti and Tyson Frizell will be hoping to feature in the Blues squad again after being pivotal pieces in last year’s campaign.
David Klemmer would be hoping for a recall after an impressive start to the season, and hooker Jayden Brailey is also putting pressure on selectors with his career best start to the year.
The were no Eels players selected in last year’s Queensland squad but with centre Tom Opacic playing a pivotal role for the Eels since switching from the Cowboys he has put his name front of mind.
The vacant hooker role for the Maroons also means Reed Mahoney is in the mix for selection with 10 try assists and 452 tackles made so far this season.
The Eels had four members of their squad in the New South Wales camp last year, expect that quartet to feature again.
Clint Gutherson, Nathan Brown and Junior Paulo all debuted for the Blues last year and proved to be valuable pieces moving forward, while prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard failed to play a game but may prove to be valuable back up.
Mitchell Moses could also be a chance to make his New South Wales squad debut off the back of his continued good form from last year.
North Queensland Cowboys
The Cowboys had two players in last years Queensland squad.
Valentine Holmes has featured in the squad for the past three years and provides flexibility in the Maroons backfield with his ability to play at fullback and on the wing.
Second rower Coen Hess has also played for the Maroons for the past three years but will be looking to improve from last year’s performance after he was dropped following game one.
Wing pairing Murray Taulagi and Kyle Feldt have also put themselves in contention for the Maroons squad scoring five and four tries respectively from their eight games each.
The 10-0 Panthers have a whole host of stars in line for Origin call ups this year.
Kurt Capewell will be looking to retain his spot in the Queensland squad with his flexibility an asset for new coach Paul Green.
For New South Wales, centre Stephen Crichton and lock Isaah Yeo should remain hopeful about retaining their places in the squad.
While it is widely tipped that the Panthers halves combo could become the Blues combo with Jarome Luai set to push for the five-eighth spot after missing out last year, alongside incumbent halfback Nathan Cleary.
Winger Brian To’o is in line for a call up to the squad after his scintillating starting to the season.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
The Rabbitohs Queensland contingent from last year should expect to be selected again.
Dane Gagai has played every Origin game for the past five years, while Jai Arrow has become an enforcer off the bench and Jaydn Su’A was impressive in his debut series.
The Rabbitohs also have a strong New South Wales contingent from last year.
Incumbent hooker Damien Cook should retain his spot despite pressure from younger rakes around the league, five-eighth Cody Walker filled a need last year which should see him retain his spot in the squad, while lock Cameron Murray was impressive on debut.
Star fullback Latrell Mitchell has found himself on the outer of the New South Wales set up after a couple of poor performances in 2018 and 2019, but after reportedly clearing the air with coach Brad Fitler last year he is firmly in the race for a spot in the squad.
St. George Illawarra Dragons
Veteran halfback Ben Hunt should again be in contention with his flexibility at the forefront of selectors minds.
Prop Josh Kerr made his first appearance in the Maroons squad last year and should be hopeful or retaining his spot.
Young centre Zac Lomax was in line to debut for the Blues after making last years squad and continuing his form into this year, but a thumb injury has him sidelined for game one.
Hooker Cameron McInnes was also in last year’s Blues squad, but his ACL injury means he will miss this year’s series.
The Roosters have been decimated by injuries to key players which will also affect their respective Origin squads.
Lindsay Collins and Jake Friend featured in last year’s Maroons squads, but the pair will be missing this year after Collins suffered an ACL injury and Friend was forced to retire due to concussion concerns.
Young halfback Sam Walker has put his name forward for future Queensland selection with an impressive start to his professional career.
Luke Keary and Boyd Cordner will be missing for the Blues this year with Keary also suffering ACL tear and Cordner yet to return with his own concussion concerns.
Fullback James Tedesco seems to still be the first choice for the number one jersey despite pressure from other emerging Blues fullbacks.
Winger Daniel Tupou is also in the frame for selection after playing all three of last year’s games and starting the season with five tries.
Big second rower Angus Crichton should be expecting another jersey after carving out a nice Blues career while Victor Radley will be hoping for a debut after featuring in last year’s squad.
New Zealand Warriors
While the Warriors don’t have many players eligible for Origin selection there are still a couple of enticing propositions.
Recently acquired fullback Reece Walsh could be a Maroons player in the future after recently featuring in the under-18 State of Origin.
While young halfback Sean O’Sullivan could soon be on the Blues radar with the hope of more opportunities at the Warriors.
The struggling Tigers only had one representative in last year’s series which was loan player Harry Grant.
This year prop Joe Ofahengaue will be hoping to return to the Maroons set up after a disappointing 2020 compared to his 2019 form.
While halfback Luke Brooks could be in contention for the Blues after marked improvement from his 2020 form.
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