State of Origin 2024: New South Wales Blues predicted team list for Game I | Sporting News Australia


New South Wales are in the all-too-familiar position of attempting to ward off another Queensland dynasty with Billy Slater’s men looking to win three State of Origin series in a row this year.

Brad Fittler has left his post with Michael Maguire promising a new dawn for the Blues with the slate wiped clean.

NSW avoided a whitewash in 2023 with a much-changed side downing the Maroons 24-10, however the likes of Cody Walker and Damien Cook are unlikely to keep their spots.

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Maguire has promised to pick players in form while trying to build a hard-nosed identity that the state can rally around.

So, who fits that bill and will line up for NSW in the series opener on June 5?

NSW 2024 predicted team for Game 1

1. James Tedesco
2. Brian To’o
3. Stephen Crichton
4. Jesse Ramien
5. Josh Addo-Carr
6. Nicho Hynes
7. Mitchell Moses
8. Payne Haas
9. Api Koroisau
10. Stefano Utoikamanu
11. Haumole Olakau’atu
12. Angus Crichton
13. Isaah Yeo

14. Cameron McInnes
15. Liam Martin
16. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
17. Hudson Young

Blues team news

James Tedesco endured a difficult Origin campaign last year leading many to question whether the skipper would be picked again in 2024.

Scott Drinkwater was listed as 18th man in the third and final game last season, Clint Gutherson was named on the bench, while the likes of Dylan Edwards and Tom Trbojevic were often spoken about as possible replacements for Tedesco. 

However, the fullback has started the season in great form and will most likely keep his No.1 jersey ahead of Edwards. 

Stephen Crichton and Trbojevic were likely to be selected as the centre pairing, however, injury disaster has struck once again for the Manly star with a hamstring issue to sideline him for up to two months. 

Bradman Best looked in line to reclaim his spot in the centres but the hamstring epidemic across the competition hit him as well, ruling him out for at least Game 1.

That could open the door for Jesse Ramien, who Maguire has reportedly been watching closely, while Matt Burton, Kotoni Staggs and Latrell Mitchell could find their way in amid the injury absences.

Brian To’o is assured of a place on the wing, with Josh Addo-Carr expected to take the other spot. However, the Dogs flyer is facing competition in the form of Edwards and Zac Lomax who has excelled in the position for the Dragons. 

MORE: Zac Lomax signs four-year deal with Parramatta Eels

Nathan Cleary was almost certain to be named at halfback but he now looks likely to miss the entire series, giving Mitch Moses the chance to step into the role, if he is fit. 

Nicho Hynes was underutilised in the last series and could get the nod in the No.6 jersey, with Jarome Luai also attempting to win back his spot. 

Payne Haas will be one of the first names on the team sheet and the prop is likely to be joined up front by Tigers young gun Stefano Utoikamanu

The Penrith connection is likely to continue for the opener with Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo to be named, while there should be a Blues debut for Haumole Olakau’atu

Martin was likely to start in the backrow, however an injury to Cam Murray may see him drop back to the bench to fill in through the middle with Angus Crichton earning a starting berth on an edge. 

Api Koroisau missed the last two Origin matches last season after suffering a broken jaw but will take the No.9 jersey for Game I. 

Cameron McInnes could be in line for his NSW debut off the bench in the utility role, covering Koroisau as well as providing some energy off the pine. 

The Cronulla veteran could be joined on the interchange by Hudson Young. 

MORE: Bolters who may play for the NSW Blues this year

Young debuted for the Blues in the opener last year but was then dropped. The Canberra backrower has likely got the jump on Keaon Koloamatangi though after his indifferent form for the Rabbitohs.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard is likely to face competition from the likes of Jake Trbojevic, Junior Paulo and Taniela Paseka for a bench spot. 

Ryan Papenhuyzen is again sidelined with injury, ruling him out for the opener at the very least.

Why won’t Latrell Mitchell be selected for NSW?

Latrell Mitchell is unlikely to be named in the centres for the Blues, as his exile from the Origin arena looks set to drag on. 

The South Sydney star was named in the opening two games by Fittler last year only to be withdrawn due to a troublesome calf injury. 

Mitchell has worked his way back to full fitness now but his start to the year hasn’t been good enough with the Rabbitohs winning just one of their first 10 games.  

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