Queensland State Of Origin Team Announced
Greg Inglis is the new captain, but Darius Boyd has been left out.
The Queensland State of Origin team has been announced, officially kicking anticipation for this year's annual interstate rugby league series into overdrive ahead of the opening game next week in Melbourne.
South Sydney Rabbitohs' star Greg Inglis will captain the side, QLD coach Kevin Walters announced. Selectors named a new-look team on Monday morning, with most interest over the players named in the key playmaking positions left vacant by the recent retirements of Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk from Origin football.
A major talking point coming out of the announcement will be the dropping of star player Darius Boyd. The Brisbane Broncos captain is second on the list of all-time Origin try-scorers with 17, just one behind record-holder Inglis.
Queensland have won 11 of the last 12 series against New South Wales, but will start as underdogs in the first interstate clash since legends of the game Thurston, Smith and Cronk all retired from Origin last year.
Cameron Munster and Ben Hunt will be the new halves combination for the Maroons, after scintillating form for their clubs this year and past starring Origin performances in utility roles.
Andrew McCullough, Felise Kaufusi and Jai Arrow are the three debutants named in the side.
The NSW side will be named on Monday night at a function in Sydney. The first Origin game is June 6 in Melbourne, before the series heads to Sydney on June 24 then Brisbane on July 11.
QUEENSLAND MAROONS TEAM
Game I, 2018 - Melbourne, June 6
- 1. Billy Slater - Melbourne Storm
- 2. Valentine Holmes - Cronulla Sharks
- 3. Greg Inglis (c) - South Sydney Rabbitohs
- 4. Will Chambers - Melbourne Storm
- 5. Dane Gagai - South Sydney Rabbitohs
- 6. Cameron Munster - Melbourne Storm
- 7. Ben Hunt - St George Illawarra Dragons
- 8. Dylan Napa - Sydney Roosters
- 9. Andrew McCullough - Brisbane Broncos
- 10. Jarrod Wallace - Gold Coast Titans
- 11. Gavin Cooper - North Queensland Cowboys
- 12. Felise Kaufusi - Melbourne Storm
- 13. Josh McGuire - Brisbane Broncos
- 14. Michael Morgan - North Queensland Cowboys
- 15. Josh Papalii - Canberra Raiders
- 16. Coen Hess - North Queensland Cowboys
- 17. Jai Arrow - Gold Coast Titans