Sport State of Origin: Matthew Johns analyses the favourites for every NSW position

05:06  15 may  2018
05:06  15 may  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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The 2003 State of Origin series was the 22nd year that the annual three-game series between Queensland and New South Wales was contested entirely under ' state of origin ' selection rules. Queensland's return to a renovated Lang Park was soured when Andrew Johns returned to form for

This series once again saw State of Origin football venture to Melbourne, after an Although many considered NSW favourites , the starting sides in Game 1 actually saw Qld have 79 collective Origin games experience, while NSW had only 68 between them. New South Wales teamsEdit. Position .

a group of football players on a field© Provided by Sportal com au

Two weeks.

That’s all that is left for a crop of around 25 players to prove their worth to NSW coach Brad Fittler and squeeze into his final 17 come game one.

Some players had their noses in front at the start of round 10, but one week of football can dramatically turn things on its head, as we saw in the hooker battle between Damien Cook and Cameron McInnes.

Former Blues enforcer Matt Geyer revealed who would make the cut in his side if he was in Fittler’s shoes with some hard-to-argue selections in key positions.

Without doubt, the halves debate is once again at the top of everyone’s agenda, although the hooker, centres and bench forwards are experiencing the same uncertainty thanks to an in-form Dragons side that is knocking down the selection door.

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The 2005 State of Origin series saw the 24th time that the annual three-game series between the Queensland and New South Wales representative rugby league football teams was contested entirely under ' state of origin ' selection rules.

Matthew Johns (born 27 July 1971) is an Australian rugby league football commentator and former professional player. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative five-eighth, Johns played his club football primarily with the Newcastle Knights

Running his eye over his former co-hosts' team on the Triple M Grill Team, Matthew Johns weighed in on who he believes are the favourites for each position with some insight of his own.

FULLBACK AND WINGS

Geyer selects: James Tedesco, Josh Addo-Carr, Blake Ferguson

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Johns says: "I don’t know about Blake Ferguson. I would definitely go Addo-Carr. I think at the moment Tedesco has got his nose in front just ahead of Tom T (Trbojevic), but I’d go for young (Nick) Cotric (on the wing)."

CENTRES

Geyer selects: Tom Trbojevic, Latrell Mitchell

Johns says: "I think Euan Aitken deserves a spot. I think Aitken has been absolutely terrific.

"Curtis (Scott) has been carrying an ankle injury.

"I’m not against Latrell, I think he’s been starting to find that consistency we’ve been looking for, and geez he’s a dangerous player when they give him the football."

HALVES

Geyer selects: Luke Keary, James Maloney

Johns says: "You’d lock Maloney in and Keary really stated his case last week.

"The interesting one here is Nathan Cleary. I’m of the belief with the young player who hasn’t played State of Origin... I’d be reluctant to rush him after two games, however, if he goes out this weekend and has an absolute blinder then backs it up the week after, then Freddy may very well pick him.

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NSW has named its side for Origin I with a returning star taking up an old position , but his selection has raised a few eyebrows. NSW Origin greats Matthew Johns and Mark Geyer have declared NSW has already made a huge mistake this year by overlooking Dragons prop Paul Vaughan.

State of Origin 2016: Mitchell Pearce is the best option for NSW Blues halfback. "It will require investment just to get to my best yet I'm working every week to improve as a player for the group." Provoked to remark on his consideration in Johns ' fantasy group for Origin I, Cartwright was

"He’s that sort of kid, he’s so composed, you’d imagine he could handle it - but still, I don’t know about it. If there was no Cleary, I think Keary has his nose in front."

BACK-ROW AND LOCK

Geyer selects: Boyd Cordner, Tyson Frizell, Jake Trbojevic

Johns says: "Certainly (on Trbojevic).

"Freddy loves Boyd Cordner, he’s got him pencilled down as his captain. He was good last weekend.

"There’s been some significant pressure from people like (Jack) de Belin, but also Tariq Sims as well but you’d imagine he’s hold his spot there."

FRONT-ROW

Geyer selects: Reagan Campbell-Gillard, David Klemmer

Johns says: "Reagan Campbell-Gillard will be the first front-rower picked, there’s no doubt about it."

HOOKER & UTILITY

Geyer selects: Damien Cook, Tyrone Peachey

Johns says: "The belief has been up until a week or so ago that Damien Cook, with how quick he is and the impact he can make off the bench, is that he could come off the bench and have McInnes as the starter.

"However, in the last two weeks, Cook’s form has just gone through the roof and now there’s the belief that Cook could possibly play the 80 minutes, and I believe if they go with Cook then I don’t think they’ll carry McInnes on the bench.

"If that’s the case then I think they might go with Tyrone Peachey - if Tyrone Peachey can hold form, because Peachey’s got the ability to play dummy-half as well if something happens to Cook."

BENCH FORWARDS

Geyers selects: Paul Vaughan, Jack de Belin, Tariq Sims

Johns says: "I think most people would agree with that. Those Dragons players, look - they got beaten last week, but as I said, they’ve been up for a long time and they’ve been mighty all season.

"I wouldn’t put them in the category of being rookies. They’re hard-nosed professionals, they’ll handle the jump (with) no problem at all."

Sterling's brutal reminder for Origin contenders .
With James Roberts and Latrell Mitchell both in contention for a NSW Origin spot, Peter Sterling issues a strong warning ahead of the opening game on June 6th.With both James Roberts and Latrell Mitchell in contention for a spot in the side, Sterling says there’s still plenty of doubt over the pair, after they went head-to-head when the Broncos played the Roosters on Friday night.

Source: http://au.pressfrom.com/news/sport/-64059-state-of-origin-matthew-johns-analyses-the-favourites-for-every-nsw-position/

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