State of Origin 2020: Predicted teams for NSW and QLD

The Maroons will be desperate to stop the Blues making it three straight Origin series victories in 2020. Pic: Getty

The NRL resumption is almost upon us and rugby league fans around the country are itching at the prospect of watching their beloved teams in action once more.

While the planned May 28 restart is still on schedule, we at Yahoo Sport Australia thought we'd get the crystal ball out to see who'll be lining up for New South Wales and Queensland in the end-of-season State of Origin series.

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The Blues will be looking to take home the shield for the third straight year, while the Maroons will be desperate to wrestle it back after their heartbreak 26-20 defeat in last year’s decider.

Pending injuries and potential form slumps, here are the 17-man squads we expect will line up for their states in 2020.

NSW coach Brad Fittler and QLD counterpart Kevin Walters will again lock horns in the 2020 Origin series. Pic: Getty


Fullback: James Tedesco

An absolute no-brainer, Tedesco was the best player in 2019 and an integral part of the Blues success. One of the first men picked.

Wingers: Josh Addo-Carr and Blake Ferguson

The NSW speedsters were both terrific in the 2019 series and carried that form over to their clubs for the remainder of the season. Both deserve to keep their spots.

Centres: Tom Trbojevic, Jack Wighton

Tommy Turbo and Jack Wighton were a devastating duo in the centres for NSW last year and were key factors in their respective clubs' charge to the finals.

Halves: Mitchell Moses, Nathan Cleary

James Maloney's departure has opened up a spot alongside Nathan Cleary in the Blues halves. It's a toss up between dual premiership-winning playmaker Luke Keary and reigning Dally M Halfback of the Year, Mitchell Moses. The individual form and added size of Moses gives him a slight edge.

Mitchell Moses and Luke Keary will both be in the mix for a NSW halves spot. Pic: Getty

Props: David Klemmer, Payne Haas

Regardless of club form, Klemmer always lifts for Origin and his big game presence is vital. Haas got a taste of Origin in his rookie season in 2019 and the reigning Dally M Prop of the Year's form sees him edge out the likes of Dragons enforcer Paul Vaughan and Knights star Daniel Saifiti.

Hooker: Damien Cook

One of the Blues' best over the past two Origin campaigns and up there with Cam Smith and Englishman Josh Hodgson as the game's premier hookers. An easy pick.

Second-rowers: Boyd Cordner, Cameron Murray

Blues and Kangaroos captain Cordner would almost be the first name on coach Brad Fittler's team sheet. Taking his place alongside the skipper is Murray, whose brilliance off the bench for the Blues in the 2019 series victory carried over to the Rabbitohs, where he was named Dally M Lock of the Year.

Lock: Jake Trbojevic

Incumbent NSW and Kangaroos lock Jake Trbojevic is another selection that will give Fittler few headaches. A tackling machine and an absolute war horse, the elder Trbojevic is tailor made for representative footy.

Jake Trbojevic and Boyd Cordner should be two of the easiest picks for NSW selectors. Pic: Getty

Interchange: Wade Graham, Tyson Frizell, Dale Finucane, Ryan Matterson

A big and powerful, yet mobile and versatile bench has worked for NSW the last two Origin campaigns and all four players can do the hard work, while covering a range of positions.


1. James Tedesco 2. Josh Addo-Carr 3. Jack Wighton 4. Tom Trbojevic 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Mitch Moses 7. Nathan Cleary 8. David Klemmer 9. Damien Cook 10. Payne Haas 11. Cam Murray 12. Boyd Cordner (c) 13. Jake Trbojevic INTERCHANGE: Wade Graham, Tyson Frizell, Dale Finucane, Ryan Matterson


Fullback: Kalyn Ponga

One of the NRL's most exciting superstars, Ponga has grown into his role with Queensland and was excellent in Games I and II for the Maroons, before injury ruled him out of the 2019 decider.

Wingers: Valentine Holmes, Corey Oates

Despite only returning to the NRL this season, Holmes has already hit the ground running and should return to the position where he's been so devastating for the Maroons in the past. Oates deserves another crack on the other wing in lieu of the Maroons' need to reshuffle their centre combination.

Centres: Michael Morgan, Dane Gagai

The rep retirements of Darius Boyd and Will Chambers means Gagai will need to shift in from the wing, despite enjoying so much Origin success there over the years. Even though he's more familiar with his playmaking role at the Cowboys, Morgan is arguably the best candidate to partner Gagai in the centres.

Valentine Holmes and Dane Gagai loom as key attacking weapons for the Maroons in 2020. Pic: Getty

Halves: Cameron Munster and Daly Cherry-Evans

As the 2019 Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year and the incumbent Maroons skipper, Munster and Cherry-Evans respectively, are two of the more comfortable picks for QLD coach Kevin Walters.

Props: Josh Papalii and Dylan Napa

Maroons and Kangaroos incumbent Papalii is another easy selection, while Napa's brute aggression, go-forward and hard-hitting nature give him a slight edge over Joe Ofahengaue.

Hooker: Ben Hunt

The Dragons halfback played all three Origin games at hooker last season and did an admirable job for Walters. With no standout contenders to take his place (unless Kevvie can finally convince Cam Smith to come out of retirement), Hunt deserves to keep his spot.

Second-rowers: David Fifita and Felise Kaufusi

David Fifita got a taste of rep footy as an interchange for the Maroons in 2019. He came on in leaps and bounds for the Broncos and captained Australia's junior Kangaroos in what was a phenomenal season for the 20-year-old. Has earned a place alongside Storm mainstay and incumbent Maroons second-rower Felise Kaufusi.

David Fifita and Felise Kaufusi could form a devastating back row combination for the Maroons. Pic: Getty

Lock: Josh McGuire

Incumbent Maroons lock Josh McGuire has been there and done it all before and his experience and hard-nosed edge will be of vital importance to Walters' side.

Interchange: Joe Ofahengaue, Jai Arrow, Ethan Lowe, Moses Mbye

Three hard-working, hard-hitting and versatile forwards combined with a mobile back who can cover a raft of positions, seems to be the go-to strategy for the Maroons.


1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Valentine Holmes 3. Dane Gagai 4. Michael Morgan 5. Corey Oates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) 8. Dylan Napa 9. Ben Hunt 10. Josh Papalii 11. David Fifita 12. Felise Kaufusi 13. Josh McGuire INTERCHANGE: Joe Ofahengaue, Jai Arrow, Ethan Lowe, Moses Mbye