McGuire picked for Qld Origin debut

Brisbane prop Josh McGuire has been selected to make his State of Origin debut as the only new face in Queensland’s team for the series opener.

McGuire will become the 180th Maroon after being named on the bench in the Queensland team named on Tuesday for the clash at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on May 27.

McGuire earned a nod ahead of Sydney Roosters hard-hitting prop Dylan Napa who has been invited into the Maroons camp as 18th man.

McGuire will be joined on the interchange by Matt Gillett, who has kept out Canberra’s Josh Papalii, while Manly playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans retains the bench utility role ahead of challenges from Brisbane’s Ben Hunt and Cowboys pivot Michael Morgan.

Maroons coach Mal Meninga stuck with the tried and true, allowing them the chance to reclaim the Origin trophy after having their eight-series winning run broken last year.

In a shot in the arm, Queensland’s captain Cameron Smith is free to play game one with an early guilty plea to a dangerous contact charge from Melbourne’s last round NRL win over South Sydney.

The series will mark the representative swan song of veteran centre Justin Hodges.

The Broncos skipper, who turns 33 later this month, announced earlier this season that he would retire from representative football at the end of the year.

There is speculation over whether he will play at all next year.

Queensland: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Will Chambers, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith (capt), Nate Myles, Aidan Guerra, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange: Daly Cherry-Evans, Jacob Lillyman, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire. 18th man: Dylan Napa.

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