HOW THE BLUES MIGHT LOOK POST PAUL GALLEN
1. James Tedesco (23) – Missed out through injury to Matt Moylan this year, but adds some spark. Moylan has been solid and will play more Origin games. The only x-factor here is a possible NRL return for Jarryd Hayne.
2. Josh Mansour (26) – Provided an option in attack with his offload and adds some power from the back. Will have more chances.
3. Josh Dugan (26) – Has to figure in the side somewhere and looks to be a centre option long-term. Also gives the opportunity for Tedesco to play fullback.
4. Jack Bird (21) – Needs to be in the 17, but has to be given the chance to roam in attack even if he is playing centre. Could also come off the bench as an impact player as he did on Wednesday night, or a long-term shift to five-eighth could be on the cards.
5. Tom Trbojevic (19) – An ongoing ankle injury might stop him from debuting at ANZ Stadium next month, but it’s only a matter of time before the younger Trbojevic becomes an Origin superstar.
6. James Maloney (30) – Has been one of NSW’s best in each of the opening two games, creating plenty of opportunities. Should remain there for the next few years.
7. Adam Reynolds (25) – Have NSW finally found a half to build their team around? His long kicking game was a bonus in the second match and will only improve with Origin experience.
8 Aaron Woods (C) (25) – The most likely option as a long-term captain of the Blues. Is already skipper of his club and will soon lead the NSW forward pack.
9 Nathan Peats (25) – Has all the guts of an Origin player and provides plenty of spark up the middle out of dummy half. Should consider himself unlucky if not picked for Game III.
10. David Klemmer (22) – The time has come for him to start and assert his authority over State of Origin football.
11. Tyson Frizell (24) – Was the Blues’ best in his Origin debut on Wednesday night. Solid in defence, speedy and dangerous in attack.
12. Boyd Cordner (24) – Man of the match for NSW in the series opener before a toe injury ended his season. An automatic selection.
13. Josh Jackson (25) – Plays better on the edge, but could easily add some creativity in the middle for the good of the side.
14. Bryce Cartwright (21) – NSW traditionally struggle to score points and Cartwright could provide the x-factor that’s required. Possesses one of the most lethal offloads in the NRL.
15. James Tamou (27) – Hasn’t had his best series but is an Origin player who will return to his best.
16. Andrew Fifita (26) – Has looked great when on the field in the 2016 series. Provides plenty of impact when used correctly.
17 – Wade Graham (25) – Missed out his debut through suspension but is a rugged Origin player. Offers plenty of versatility which would prove invaluable.
OTHER CONTENDERS: Matt Moylan (25), Blake Ferguson (26), Michael Jennings (28), Joey Leilua (24), Ryan James (24), Jake Trbojevic (22), Dylan Walker (21).