NSW will attempt to bulldoze their way to victory in State of Origin I, after coach Laurie Daley named one of the Blues’ biggest ever benches for the series opener.
Daley finalised the make-up of his side on Friday, with prop forward giants James Tamou, David Klemmer and Andrew Fifita named on the interchange bench alongside utility Dylan Walker.
Tamou (196cm and 114kg), Klemmer (198cm and 116kg) and Fifita (194cm and 120kg) significantly outsize and outweigh their Queensland interchange opposites in Josh McGuire (180cm and 106kg), Aidan Guerra (192cm and 102kg) and Josh Papalii (182cm and 112kg).
Woods said NSW were determined to dominate the middle third of the field at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday.
“It is a big side with three big boppers on the bench, Laurie is pretty clear on the way he wants to play the game, and we all have a job to do on Wednesday,” Woods said.
“Your middle third of the team always have to go forward and we want to do that to let Adam (Reynolds) and Jimmy Maloney play out the back.
“It is a massive focus for our team at the moment.”
Paul Gallen will start at prop and will likely move to the back row to allow Tamou, Klemmer and Woods to enter the fray.
Greg Bird has been named at lock with Josh Jackson and Boyd Cordner as the Blues edge second rowers.
North Queensland premiership winner James Tamou came off the bench in Australia’s recent Test win over New Zealand.
“From my position I don’t mind coming off the bench, I have done it all in the past and just to be involved with this team is the best thing,” he told AAP.
“With Woods and Gal that will be unreal to start with and then big Fifita coming off the bench there, there are big boys coming on the field and going off.
“Either way we are going to be stocked with some weight and power.”
Four debutants are in Daley’s team in fullback Matt Moylan, winger Josh Mansour, halfback Adam Reynolds and Walker.
Reynolds will take kicks at goal ahead of his halves partner James Maloney.
NSW: Matt Moylan, Blake Ferguson, Michael Jennings, Josh Dugan, Josh Mansour, James Maloney, Adam Reynolds, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, Paul Gallen (capt), Boyd Cordner, Josh Jackson, Greg Bird. Interchange: Dylan Walker, James Tamou, David Klemmer, Andrew Fifita.