How NSW will shape up for Game I in Sydney

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HOW NSW WILL SHAPE UP FOR ORIGIN I:

Fullback - James Tedesco (capt)

Age: 29

Origins: 16

Origin tries: 7

Tedesco has returned to vintage form just in time for the Origin series and with new faces in the Blues backline, they will need him at his best.

Winger - Brian To'o

Age: 23

Origins: 3

Origin tries: 2

Making his Origin debut last year, Penrith flyer To'o is small in stature but a big threat for the NSW attack.

Centre - Kotoni Staggs

Age: 23

Origins: 0

Origin tries: 9

Earning his first call-up, Staggs has big shoes to fill in replacing injured star Tom Trbojevic but loves a challenge and is tipped to rise to the occasion.

Centre - Jack Wighton

Age: 29

Origins: 9

Origin tries: 2

Taking over from injured Latrell Mitchell, big Wighton is a surprise selection in the NSW centres, with his defence a key attribute.

Winger - Daniel Tupou

Age: 30

Origins: 7

Origin tries: 2

After being overlooked for the past two years, Tupou's height has helped him earn selection over Blues favourite Josh Addo-Carr.

Five-eighth - Jarome Luai

Age: 25

Origins: 2

Origin tries: 0

Missed Game III last year through injury, but the Panthers playmaker has taken his game to another level after steering his team to the NRL title last year.

Halfback - Nathan Cleary

Age: 24

Origins: 10

Origin tries: 0

Proved his love for the Blues after dislocating his shoulder and playing through the pain to help NSW to the series win last year. His partnership with Luai is key,

Prop - Payne Haas

Age: 22

Origins: 7

Origin tries: 0

After some off-field contract drama, a fired-up Haas will relish returning to a starting role after coming off the bench last series.

Hooker - Damien Cook

Age: 30

Origins: 12

Origin tries: 2

NSW need the veteran Souths speedster darting out of dummy-half to put the Queenslanders on the back foot.

Prop - Junior Paulo

Age: 28

Origins: 6

Origin tries: 0

Has quickly become a mainstay of the NSW side with his power and grunt up front. Been one of Parramatta's best this year.

Second-row - Cameron Murray

Age: 24

Origins: 7

Origin tries: 0

Overcome a shoulder injury to get a game in for South Sydney before being named for Origin I. Will start on the edge but is better in the middle.

Second-row - Tariq Sims

Age: 32

Origins: 6

Origin tries: 0

One of just two players picked from teams outside the top eight. Holds his spot after being one of the Blues' best in last year's series win.

Lock - Isaah Yeo

Age: 27

Origins: 6

Origin tries: 0

The most vital cog in Penrith and NSW's attack given his ability to link players in the middle and pass before the line. Finally gaining the recognition he deserves.

Interchange:

Stephen Crichton

Age: 21

Origins: 0

Origin tries: 0

Handed his debut but is named to come off the bench rather than starting at centre like most expected. Is a pure athlete and can play anywhere in the backline.

Liam Martin

Age: 25

Origins: 3

Origin tries: 0

The last of Penrith's record six players in the Blues' team. Can play edge or middle off the bench after being an underrated worker for NSW last year.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard

Age: 28

Origins: 1

Origin tries: 0

Earns a second life in Origin after thinking he was one and done when he broke his jaw following his 2018 debut. Has been one of the NRL's most consistent props in recent years.

Ryan Matterson

Age: 27

Origins: 0

Origin tries: 0

Another man who can play middle or edge. His abilities to offload in a tackle and provide versatility in positions are among the many reasons behind his Origin debut.

18th man: Nicho Hynes

Age: 25

Origins: 0

Tries: 0

Will be able to play in almost any position if concussions force him into the game for NSW. Has featured in the halves, at fullback and centre in the NRL, as well as a ball-playing impact role.

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