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.
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
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.