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Ultimate Guide: Origin I

State of Origin is finally getting underway this week, some six months after it was originally scheduled to go ahead.

The Blues will be looking to secure a first 'three-peat' in the Origin arena since 2005, while Queensland will be seeking revenge after last year's heart-stopping decider.

There's plenty to look forward to, especially if you're an nib Newcastle Knights fan, with three of our boys in the respective squads.

We've broken it all down, with a special Knights focus ahead of the big game!


Date: Wednesday, November 4

Kick-off: 8:10pm AEDT

Venue: Adelaide Oval


The game will be broadcast live and exclusive on Channel Nine's Wide World of Sports. Coverage begins from 7:30pm.


Played: 117

QLD: 62

NSW: 53

Draws: 2


Both teams have been reduced to 19 players, with Hymel Hunt remaining on standby after Brenko Lee pulled up lame during Queensland's captain's run.

Kurt Capewell is the other remaining reserve for the Maroons, with Moeaika Fotuaika and Dunamis Lui dropping off the extended bench.

Meanwhile, Cam McInnes and Reagan Campbell-Gillard have come out of the Blues side, with Nathan Brown and Zac Lomax remaining in the mix for a possible debut on Wednesday night.


1. AJ Brimson, 2. Xavier Coates, 3. Brenko Lee, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Phillip Sami, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Christian Welch, 9. Jake Friend, 10. Josh Papalii, 11. Coen Hess, 12. Felise Kaufusi, 13. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui. Interchange: 14. Ben Hunt, 15. Lindsay Collins, 16. Jai Arrow, 17. Jaydn Su'A, 18. Kurt Capewell, 21. Hymel Hunt.

New South Wales

1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Clint Gutherson, 4. Jack Wighton, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Daniel Saifiti, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Boyd Cordner, 13. Jack Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Cody Walker, 15. Payne Haas, 16. Cameron Murray, 17. Angus Crichton, 20. Nathan Brown, 21. Zac Lomax.


For the first time since he moved to the Knights, Kalyn Ponga will not take part in an Origin series.

The custodian opted to undergo shoulder surgery in the off-season, ruling him out of all three games.

His replacement, Titans fullback AJ Brimson, will be looking to make his mark against his opposite number, who just so happens to be the best player on the planet in James Tedesco.

Tedesco himself only passed a fitness test on Saturday while his understudy, Ryan Papenhuyzen, has been ruled out with a calf complaint.

With Tedesco now a certain starter, the battle at the back may well prove to be crucial to the outcome of the game.


After a successful taste of the Origin arena last year, Saifiti will be doing all he can to repay the faith showed in him by Blues coach Brad Fittler.

Saifiti has grown immensely as a front rower in red and blue across 2020, leading the Danny Buderus Medal count before getting injured mid-season.

He ran for an average of 66 metres in his two games last year and made 29 tackles.

The man known as 'D-Saf' will be sure to make an impact off the bench when called upon on Wednesday night.


With plenty of new faces across both squads, Origin will have a slightly different feel to it this year.

Not that it matters to the 11 debutants who will take the field on Wednesday.

Eight of those will be trotting out in maroon, while the Blues have three players featuring for the first time. 

Knights wingers Hymel Hunt and Edrick Lee are not among those making their inaugural appearance, however Hunt remains on standby with Xavier Coates in doubt after a training mishap.


Of the 39 series played so far, the winning team has been victorious in Game I 28 times.

With Game's II and III to be played with home-ground advantages, both sides will desperate to get the leg up on neutral turf.


Speaking of neutral turf, this year's opener will take place in Adelaide for the first time in Origin's 40-year history.

With around 30,000 fans allowed inside the venue, the atmosphere is set to be electric in the usually-quiet City of Churches.

Watch: Joey masterclass clinches '05 decider


New South Wales bench players have averaged 35.15 minutes per game over the last ten years, so D-Saf will have plenty of time to make his mark on the contest.

For reference, he normally plays between 40-60 minutes at Club level, so will provide plenty of impact.


Playing on the end of the Queensland backline as proved fruitful for a few players in recent times, including a couple of ex-Knights.

Greg Inglis has 18 Origin tries to his name, while ex-Knights Darius Boyd and Dane Gagai have 17 and 11 respectively.

Edrick Lee and Hymel Hunt will be licking their lips should they get an opportunity to debut.


Tickets for the 2020 State of Origin series are on sale to the general public now. Click here to secure your seat.

There are strict limitations on stadium capacity due to relevant State Government COVID-Safe Planning and Regulations. Restrictions may be amended at any time which may affect attendance numbers and therefore may affect your chances of securing and purchasing a ticket and/or attending a match.