Queensland Origin I penpix

HOW QUEENSLAND STACK UP FOR THE 2015 STATE OF ORIGIN OPENER

Fullback – Billy Slater

Age: 31 Origins: 25

Keen to make up for disappointment of missing the Anzac Test through injury. The complete fullback, his peerless defence is matched by class in attack.

Wing – Darius Boyd

Age: 27 Origins: 20

Only had two NRL games back from a ruptured Achilles tendon but no one should doubt Boyd’s mettle after overcoming well-documented mental demons. Prolific Origin try-scorer outside Greg Inglis.

Centre – Greg Inglis

Age: 28 Origins: 24

Sounding alarm bells for NSW, Inglis is keen to have some fun again after an NRL season start weighed down by a troublesome knee complaint.

Centre – Justin Hodges

Age: 32 Origins: 21

Hodges is back to his wily best in his final representative season and the big, stepping centre will want to finish with the Origin trophy in his hands.

Wing – Will Chambers

Age: 26 Origins: 1

Usurped Hodges at centre in the Kangaroos this year and should pose problems for NSW as he bides his time on the wing for the Maroons

Five-eighth – Johnathan Thurston

Age: 32 Origins: 30

Arguably the greatest player in the game and in arguably career-best form after leading his North Queensland Cowboys to a club-record seven straight wins. His probing runs and passes spark plenty of attack.

Halfback – Cooper Cronk

Age: 31 Origins: 14

The perfect foil for playmaker Thurston. A clever, precise and clinical halfback.

Prop – Matt Scott

Age: 29 Origins: 16

Primed after off-season shoulder surgery, Scott will want to show he can reclaim the mantle of world’s best prop.

Hooker – Cameron Smith

Age: 31 Origins: 33

Dodged a bullet in some eyes when he escaped a suspension for kicking South Sydney rival Issac Luke. A cool and inspirational leader who will also sniff any gaps from dummy half.

Prop – Nate Myles

Age: 29 Origins: 26

Big fella looks set to break the shackles and find form again for his beloved Maroons after finally sorting out his NRL future.

Second row – Aidan Guerra

Age: 27 Origins: 3

Ready to repay loyalty from Queensland selectors after earning a starting nod despite just returning from broken cheekbone.

Second row – Sam Thaiday

Age: 29 Origins: 21

The joker of the Queensland team has been all business, rising to a challenge from Broncos coach Wayne Bennett to show why he should be re-signed. His charges at the defensive line are a major threat on the right side.

Lock – Corey Parker

Age: 33 Origins: 13

Dad’s Army jokes may fly thick and fast at the veteran Queensland team but age does not weary the skilful Parker and his off-loads in the tackle will test the Blues.

Interchange:

Josh McGuire

Age: 25 Origins: Debut

Broncos bruiser finally gets his chance to flex his representative muscle after looming large in Maroons plans in past seasons.

Matt Gillett

Age: 26 Origins: 9

Had to hold off the challenge from Josh Papalii to retain Maroons spot. Will want to step up after being overshadowed in Brisbane’s back-row.

Jacob Lillyman

Age: 31 Origins: 8

Big Queensland country boy, the ideal man to let loose in counter to the beefed-up NSW bench.

Michael Morgan

Age: 23 Origins: Debut

North Queensland’s Mr Fixit, Morgan has been on fire as Thurston’s halves foil in a club combination that looks set to also benefit Queensland after he replaced injured Daly Cherry-Evans as bench utility.

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