NRL 2021: State of Origin, NSW Blues, team scheduled for Origin I

After analyzing the numbers of all available contestants over the past three weeks and then factoring in new injuries and suspensions, NRL.com Stats compiled their best possible Blues squad for the State of Origin series opener on June 9.

Sure-fire picks Angus Crichton (suspension) and Ryan Papenhuyzen (concussion) were excluded from the series opener, creating a serious conundrum in terms of edge lead while simplifying the utility role.

1. James Tedesco. Best player in the world in recent years, Tedesco’s 2021 form has been solid but does not match the scintillating work of Sea Eagle Tom Trbojevic. However, as a captain and with some memorable performances at Origin in recent years, it’s impossible to move Teddy from the No.1 jersey.

2. Josh Addo-Carr. One of the first names on the squad sheet on the left wing, Addo-Carr’s six-try shot against Souths three weeks ago only underscores the threat it offers down the flank.



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3. Latrell Mitchell. One of the most upset places for the Blues is the center, after makeshift duo Jack Wighton and Clint Gutherson were surprised at times last year. Mitchell’s powerful form at the back for the south and years of experience as a center at club and rep level should count for a lot.

4. Tom Trbojevic. The only question is where to place the Sea Eagles talisman, whether it’s their preferred spot as a full-back, on the wing or in crosses. He’s no stranger to any of the three roles, but dominated as a traveling center in 2019 before missing last year’s injury, so he takes the place of Stephen Crichton, Wighton and Gutherson.

5. Daniel Tupou. Another tricky call, with Panther breakout Brian To’o seriously claiming monster numbers in terms of litters and busts. However, To’o’s sometimes unstable work under the high ball and Tupou’s tenure and consistency earn him a nod.

6. Jarome Luai. A contested position but an easy decision. Luai rides a two-year-old form ridge that almost rivals that of his partner Nathan Cleary, with the pair enjoying an almost telepathic combination. Besides leading the NRL in assists for the second year in a row, Luai has perhaps surprisingly better defensive numbers than any other half available, including Cleary and Wighton. The fact that Queensland would love to see anyone but Luai in this jersey tells you everything you need to know.

7. Nathan Cleary. Perhaps the only name to be on the team sheet before Addo-Carr. May not quite have dominated the interstate arena yet, but has been part of two out of three series wins and, along with Trbojevic, has been the NRL’s most dominant player this year. At the absolute peak of his art.

8. Payne Haas. Newcastle’s David Klemmer has the numbers but Brad Fittler is expected to stay with Haas, despite being silent in last year’s losing decision. Haas has been huge for Brisbane again in 2021 with a huge engine and is still tough to take down.

9. Damien Cook. Some say he may be in jeopardy for his place in Api Koroisau but, as good as Koroisau has been for the Panthers, Cook’s own form has not been as bad as some have suggested and his runs. on the board at this level should have it. safe for at least the first game.

10. Daniel Saifiti. Must be on the team somewhere. The punch on its scopes remains a huge weapon, with its yards per shot better than almost any accessory available behind Haas.



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11. Tyson Frizell. Was already likely in the squad before Crichton’s suspension, but as a strong-form lead specialist with great pedigree in Origin football, has to take one of the back row seats.

12. Cameron Murray. It remains possible that a specialist like Ryan Matterson or Tevita Pangai jr could make their way into the starting camp, but Murray, if he’s in good shape, must be in the 17. His most valuable position is arguably the bench with its versatility, impact and leg speed. he was a perfect fit for this role but has played a lot in the lead in recent years and has Origin experience.

13. Isaah Yeo. In a truly stacked position with Murray, titular Jake Trbojevic, Dale Finucane, Nathan Brown and now suspended Victor Radley all scrambling for a spot, Yeo stands tall. One of the most underrated players in the game, his role as a ball player and liaison is at the heart of everything Penrith does well. Even the details of his self-employment as an intermediate striker are top notch with his points and meters numbers as good as any of the contenders.

14. Jack Wighton. Papenhuyzen was in pencil for this spot, but with the Storm flyer shelved, the out of form Raider gets a reprieve. A great body with an Origin experience that spans multiple spots and is preferred by the trainer, Wighton’s Origin 2019 exploits will hold him well at the selection table.

15. Jake Trbojevic. Six weeks ago, there was talk that the Blues’ exiting lock might miss the team altogether, but Manly’s woes are long gone and Jake is simply built for Origin. Has never let go of his condition and although his work is rarely eye-catching, it is still of high quality. Unlucky to lose the starting spot, but Yeo’s form and combination with his halves are too hard to ignore as Trbojevic has excelled as a big-minute bench midfielder for the Blues in the past.



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16. Ryan Matterson. The main beneficiary of Crichton’s suspension, Matterson is fortunate enough to be in the 17 after spending time as a member of the squad. Had a long concussion layoff this year, but hasn’t missed a beat since returning in round eight. With Radley suspended and Murray now in the starting lineup, there was a gap for a striker with some versatility and some ball skills off the bench.

17. Junior Paulo. While all the numbers suggest Knights big man David Klemmer should be in the 17th, he is in disgrace with the coach and looks like he has no chance of being selected. Paulo had his moments last year and while his defensive numbers aren’t as strong as the other contenders, his ball play and unloading offer a point of difference in an impact role off the bench.

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