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Ultimate Origin Preview: Game II

The next instalment of State of Origin is back on this Sunday at Suncorp Stadium.

The greatest rivalry in rugby league has reached Game II of its three-game series with NSW holding the lead after a 50-6 triumph in the opening game.

Queensland will hope to keep the series alive with a victory after going down emphatically in Game I.

The Maroons have made a host of changes including the surprise selection of two debutants including a NRL rookie while NSW have only made the one change to their team.

This is your Ultimate Preview to State of Origin, Game II.


Date: Sunday, June 27

Kick-off: 7:50pm AEDT

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane


Played: 121

Queensland: 64

NSW: 55

Draws: 2



1. Reece Walsh, 2. Valentine Holmes, 3. Kurt Capewell, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Kyle Feldt, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Christian Welch, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Josh Papalii, 11. Jai Arrow, 12. Felise Kaufusi, 13. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui. Interchange: 14. Ben Hunt, 15. Moeaki Fotuaika, 16. David Fifita 17. Francis Molo. Extended Bench: 18. Coen Hess, 19. Ronaldo Mulitalo.

Coach: Paul Green

New South Wales

1. James Tedesco, 2. Brian To'o, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. Tom Trbojevic, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Daniel Saifiti, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Cameron Murray, 12. Tariq Sims, 13. Isaah Yeo. Interchange: 14. Jack Wighton, 15. Angus Crichton, 16. Payne Haas, 17. Liam Martin. Extended Bench: 18. Apisai Koroisau, 19. Campbell Graham, 20. Dale Finucane.

Coach: Brad Fittler

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NSW coach Brad Fittler has selected a 20-man squad with Angus Crichton and Dale Finucane coming into the team for the injured Jake Trbojevic.

Daniel Saifiti will fly the flag for the Knights in what will be his seventh game for the Blues.

Junior Paulo has been elevated into the run-on side while Crichton will come off the bench.

For Queensland, boom Warriors rookie Reece Walsh has been selected at fullback with Knights star Kalyn Ponga unable to prove his fitness ahead of the must-win game for the Maroons.

Walsh is among five changes from the side which lost Game I with Cowboys front-rower Francis Molo set to make his debut off the bench while Andrew McCullough, Josh Papalii and Ben Hunt also have come into the side.

Harry Grant and AJ Brimson were ruled out with injuries while Xavier Coates, Joe Ofahengaue and Jaydn Su'a were also left out of the squad.


The Blues won the first game of the series with a 50-6 rout of Queensland at Townsville's Queensland Country Bank Stadium on June 9.

A rampant NSW attack including a Tom Trbojevic hat-trick led the sky blue to victory.

NSW scored eight tries to the Maroons one to move the past the half-century mark for only the second time in their history.

While the final score was the biggest winning margin for the Blues since Origin first began in 1980.

The Blues have won four of the past six Origin clashes.


Newcastle Knights co-captain Daniel Saifiti has been re-selected in the Blues starting line-up for Game II following a strong performance in the opening game of the series.

Saifiti scored his first try in the Origin arena scoring in the 63rd minute of the Blues thumping.

Having played for 50 minutes in the middle, the 25-year-old took the most amount of runs out of all the Blues forwards and made 142 metres.

D-Saf will look to continue his impressive opening performance and lead in the middle for the Blues in Game II.

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He's the second least experienced player in Origin history, but Reece Walsh has been handed the keys to Kalyn Ponga's coveted No.1 jumper.

Coming off an impressive performance in Newcastle, Walsh has forced the selectors hands after bursting onto the scene with some crazy performances for the Warriors.

There's no doubting the 18-year-old brings an x-factor the Maroons have been sorely missing during Ponga's absence.


Queensland have won the last four games at the Cauldron.

In the last 10 games at Suncorp Stadium, the Maroons have enjoyed a brilliant record winning 8 out of the last 10 clashes.

Valentine Holmes has scored six tries in the last four games against the Blues at the formerly named 'Lang Park'.


NSW have won the last three game two's.

Three NSW players ran for more than 200 metres in the opening game victory - James Tedesco (212), Brian To'o (233) and Tom Trbojevic (215).

Trbojevic has scored eight tries in six Origin appearances including six in his last three.