Blues duo Tyson Frizell and Boyd Cordner are in line for Kangaroos selection.
Blues duo Tyson Frizell and Boyd Cordner are in line for Kangaroos selection. DARREN ENGLAND

Blues tipped to rule the 'Roos

NSW has the foot on the throat - and not just on Queensland.

As the Blues look to seal a State of Origin series clean sweep for the first time since 2000, they also have the chance to dominate the Australian side set to play at season's end.

Such has been the changing of the guard during the Origin campaign that NSW is set to hold sway at the selection table in October when the Kangaroos team is named.

Thirteen New South Welshmen will likely take their places in the Kangaroos' 17 - a side that has been littered with Maroons for more than a decade, featuring names such as Darren Lockyer, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater.

By the time the Origin series got under way, Cronk had retired from rep football, so too Thurston, and on the eve of the series-opener Maroons captain Smith dropped the bombshell that he too would no longer take part.

Then we learned that Slater would also pull down the curtain on his incredible representative career after Origin III.

James Tedesco shapes as the likely fullback in a new-look Australian side. (AAP Image/David Moir)
James Tedesco shapes as the likely fullback in a new-look Australian side. (AAP Image/David Moir)

So while Queensland was falling apart, Brad Fittler was shedding the scars of past NSW losses and took the bold stance of blooding 11 debutants on rugby league's biggest stage.

Some suggest that Wednesday night's game is pointless, a dead rubber, but not for the players awaiting Kangaroos jerseys.

James Tedesco, who I believe is in a two-way battle with James Maloney for player of the series, has done more than enough to earn the green and gold No.1 jersey.

Tom Trbojevic will likely take one of the wing positions after a tremendous debut series, with Valentine Holmes on the other wing.

Of course Greg Inglis, who has been inspirational and without doubt Queensland's best, will be one centre, and I can't go past young sensation Latrell Mitchell for the other.

Latrell Mitchell leaves Will Chambers behind in game two. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Latrell Mitchell leaves Will Chambers behind in game two. Picture. Phil Hillyard

He has dominated Will Chambers at every opportunity, which is no easy feat.

The halves is where I'm still a little undecided. Has Nathan Cleary done enough? Probably not, but a strong showing on Wednesday night may just be enough for him to get the nod to play alongside Panthers teammate Maloney - although at this stage, I have gone for Maloney at halfback and Cameron Munster at five-eighth.

The forward pack is where NSW will heavily dominate, with Josh McGuire the only Maroon deserving of selection.

I'm going for Regan Campbell-Gillard and David Klemmer as my starting front-row, with Damien Cook a certainty to be selected at hooker after a great series for NSW.

There is a rumour floating around the Maroons' Ben Hunt will be selected at hooker.

Surely this cannot be true. This is a specialist position that must be respected and not just handed to someone who plays halfback for his club and for 15 minutes in an Origin game.

Josh McGuire has been Queensland's best forward. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Josh McGuire has been Queensland's best forward. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Tyson Frizell has been superb and Boyd Cordner likewise, so they must take the back-row positions. I have Josh McGuire at lock - he is tough and uncompromising and has been Queensland's best forward throughout the series.

The bench is as important as the first 13, so I have Hunt, as his versatility is key, if Michael Morgan is unavailable.

But if Cleary does get the No.7, I would have Munster ahead of Hunt. I also have Jake Trbojevic, Jack De Belin and Angus Crighton. The latter has been enormous for NSW off the interchange bench.

This is a side picked on form, but isn't that what the Australian jersey deserves?

And so Australian coach Mal Meninga faces his biggest challenge as a representative coach. No longer can the Maroons dominate national selection - because the men in blue are in far superior form.

News Corp Australia


SUPERCARS: CQ mechanics do the region proud at Bathurst

premium_icon SUPERCARS: CQ mechanics do the region proud at Bathurst

Local business throws its support behind Supercar bid

Young LEGO architect creates display home competition

premium_icon Young LEGO architect creates display home competition

THOMAS Bytheway is building Edenbrook Estate in plastic form

Local Partners