Queensland name two debutants for Origin I

Justin O’Neill and Corey Oates will make their State of Origin debut in a new-look Queensland backline for the series opener against NSW in Sydney.

North Queensland’s O’Neill will partner Greg Inglis in the centres.

He has finally earned a Maroons nod for the June 1 clash after going agonisingly close to a debut when on standby for a recovering Darius Boyd ahead of the 2013 series opener.

Towering Brisbane flyer Oates has been named on the wing despite failing to complete last Friday night’s 19-18 NRL loss to North Queensland due to dizzy spells and an irregular heartbeat.

Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt was overlooked after his error-riddled display in the same clash.

Instead Maroons selectors remained loyal to incumbent winger Dane Gagai who plays for NRL cellar dwellers Newcastle.

Queensland were forced to unveil a new-look backline due to the unavailability of fullback Billy Slater (shoulder) and centres Will Chambers (foot) and Justin Hodges (retirement).

Brisbane’s Darius Boyd had already been confirmed as Queensland fullback by rookie coach Kevin Walters.

The only Maroons incumbent dropped was interchange backrower Jacob Lillyman of the Warriors.

He made way for Brisbane and Kangaroos prop Josh McGuire who missed last year’s record 52-6 game three series-clinching win due to an achilles injury.

It will mark the first series for Queensland coach Walters, taking over from the legendary Mal Meninga who steered the Maroons to nine series victories in 10 years.

Queensland team for Origin I: Darius Boyd, Corey Oates, Greg Inglis, Justin O’Neill, Dane Gagai, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith (capt), Nate Myles, Aidan Guerra, Matt Gillett, Corey Parker. Interchange: Michael Morgan, Sam Thaiday, Josh Papalii, Josh McGuire.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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