State of Origin – head to head

New South Wales fans are hoping veteran five-eighth Trent Barrett will prove to be their savour as they look to stop a rampant Queensland side going for Rugby League history at ANZ Stadium tommorrow.

Barrett is a notable inclusion in the Blues’ side and replaces snubbed Terry Campese.

The former Wigan man will bring one obvious asset to the NSW side – experience.

His Origin experience maybe limited as pointed out by Footy Show pundit Phil Gould last week, but it is easy to forget that he is an Australian international who has played at the top level for over a decade.

At times Barrett has carried a struggling Cronulla side this season, and has showed flashes of brilliance during some pretty ordinary Sharks performances.

Meanwhile, Barrett’s club mate Paul Gallen returns from injury and will prove a constant thorn in the side for the Maroons, while Glenn Stewart has a chance to prove himself after missing game one through suspension.

Josh Morris earns himself a spot on the bench after showing some sensational try-scoring form with Canterbury.

For Queensland, the only change is the inclusion of Willie Tonga for the injured Justin Hodges.

Since moving from the Bulldogs to North Queensland, the 25-year-old has overcome his injury-plagued past and proved a real hit with the Cowboys fans.

It will be interesting to see how the Maroons fare without the established Inglis/Hodges centre combination, although on paper at least, the Queenslanders look to have the stonger side.

New South Wales

Kurt Gidley (capt)
Jarryd Hayne
Jamie Lyon
Joel Monaghan
David Williams
Trent Barrett
Peter Wallace
Brent Kite
Robbie Farah
Michael Weyman
Ben Creagh
Luke O’Donnell
Paul Gallen

Josh Morris
Justin Poore
Glenn Stewart
Anthony Watmough


Billy Slater
Darius Boyd
Greg Inglis
Willie Tonga
Israel Folau
Darren Lockyer (capt)
Johnathan Thurston
Steve Price
Cameron Smith
Petero Civoniceva
Ashley Harrison
Sam Thaiday
Dallas Johnson

Karmichael Hunt
Ben Hannant
Nate Myles
Michael Crocker

Last Tackle verdict:

A Queensland victory and a fourth-straight series win. It might be in the Blues’ backyard, but the Maroons will have too much experience over a developing New South Wales side.


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