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State of Origin I: Blues fully fit; Maroons make late change

The 2020 Ampol State of Origin opener between NSW and Queensland will create several pieces of history.

In its 40th year, Origin is being played at the conclusion of the club premiership season for the first time.

Never before has South Australia's iconic Adelaide Oval, the venue for game one, played host to an Origin clash.

And the impact of the six-again infringement rule on the game's most brutal and intense form will make for interesting viewing.

But what's old is also new again.

The great Wayne Bennett is back at the helm of Queensland, taking over from Kevin Walters, who stepped aside after being appointed to coach the Broncos in the NRL, though he will remain involved.

Australian coach Mal Meninga, the man who guided the Maroons to their unprecedented eight-year reign from 2006-2013, has returned as an assistant with there being no international matches.

The Blues are aiming to start their own dynasty under Brad Fittler. They can become just the third NSW team to win three consecutive Origin series (after 92-94 and 2003-05).

Fittler's troops had to fight back after losing game one last year. But with Origin being played on three consecutive Wednesdays, whoever gains the early upper hand will hold a huge advantage.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Blues is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Maroons is number 1 Alexander Brimson
  • Winger for Blues is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Maroons is number 2 Xavier Coates
  • Centre for Blues is number 3 Clinton Gutherson
    Centre for Maroons is number 4 Dane Gagai
  • Centre for Blues is number 4 Jack Wighton
    Centre for Maroons is number 18 Kurt Capewell
  • Winger for Blues is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
    Winger for Maroons is number 5 Phillip Sami
  • Five-Eighth for Blues is number 6 Luke Keary
    Five-Eighth for Maroons is number 6 Cameron Munster
  • Halfback for Blues is number 7 Nathan Cleary
    Halfback for Maroons is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans


  • Prop for Blues is number 8 Daniel Saifiti
    Prop for Maroons is number 8 Christian Welch
  • Hooker for Blues is number 9 Damien Cook
    Hooker for Maroons is number 9 Jake Friend
  • Prop for Blues is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Prop for Maroons is number 10 Josh Papalii
  • 2nd Row for Blues is number 11 Boyd Cordner
    2nd Row for Maroons is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Blues is number 12 Tyson Frizell
    2nd Row for Maroons is number 12 Coen Hess
  • Lock for Blues is number 13 Jake Trbojevic
    Lock for Maroons is number 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui


  • Interchange for Blues is number 14 Cody Walker
    Interchange for Maroons is number 14 Ben Hunt
  • Interchange for Blues is number 15 Payne Haas
    Interchange for Maroons is number 15 Lindsay Collins
  • Interchange for Blues is number 16 Cameron Murray
    Interchange for Maroons is number 16 Jai Arrow
  • Interchange for Blues is number 17 Angus Crichton
    Interchange for Maroons is number 17 Jaydn Su'A

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith

Last updated:

The rundown

Team news

Blues squad: James Tedesco has been named at fullback and will suit up after getting through training unscathed. Jake Trbojevic has shaken off his foot concern and the team will run out 1-17.

Ryan Papenhuyzen (calf injury) is missing from the 21-man squad but is hopeful of being right for game two, as is Storm teammate Dale Finucane, who was rested for the series opener with a similar injury.

Luke Keary beat out Cody Walker to win the five-eighth's jersey, with Walker to serve as the utility player on the interchange bench. Clint Gutherson will partner Jack Wighton in the centres and Junior Paulo has been named at prop.

Daniel Tupou makes a return on the wing after a lengthy absence from the Origin stage while Payne Haas, Angus Crichton and Cameron Murray join Walker on an extremely mobile interchange bench.

Cameron McInnes and Reagan Campbell-Gillard were trimmed from the extended bench 24 hours before kick-off. Zac Lomax and Nathan Brown dropped off the reserves list on game night.

Nick Cotric, Dale Finucane (calf strain), Jarome Luai, Isaah Yeo, Stephen Crichton and Papenhuyzen were the members of the extended NSW squad not named in the 21.

Maroons squad: Centre Brenko Lee was ruled out of Origin I after limping off  Adelaide Oval during a late fitness test on Wednesday night. 

Sharks utility forward Kurt Capewell has been confirmed by the Maroons to make his Origin debut and will  start at centre in his place.

AJ Brimson, Xavier Coates, Brenko Lee, Phillip Sami, Jake Friend and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui are named to make their Origin debuts as member of Queensland's starting 13. 

Coen Hess was a surprise selection in the second row, with Jaydn Su'A on the interchange. Utility ace Ben Hunt, Jai Arrow and Lindsay Collins (another debutant) join Su'A on the bench.

Moeaki Fotuaika and Dunamis Lui were omitted from the reserves list 24 hours before kick-off, with Lee and Hymel Hunt trimmed from the extended squad on game day.

The suspended Valentine Holmes and Corey Allan (available for game two) join Edrick Lee, Patrick Carrigan, Josh Kerr and Harry Grant as the players left out from the 27-man squad. 

Episode 27 - State of Origin I preview with Darren Lockyer

Key match-up

Nathan Cleary v Daly Cherry-Evans. Cleary enjoyed a dominant season but it ended in heartbreak with Penrith's grand final loss.

A strong performance here may help abate some of the pain. Cherry-Evans has the pressure of leading a vastly inexperienced team and, as the incumbent Australian halfback, will want to prove he's still the country's premier No.7 after Manly's tough campaign.

Stat Attack

Wayne Bennett's last stint as Queensland coach ended in 2003, with NSW winning that series 2-1.

Overall, Bennett has overseen the Maroons in 22 matches, beginning in 1986, for 11 victories. Blues mentor Brad Fittler played against Bennett-coached Maroons teams in two series - losing in both 1998 and 2001.

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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