Brad Fittler faces some selection headaches.
Brad Fittler faces some selection headaches.

Debutants bolt into Blues side for Origin I

UNTIMELY injuries have left Blues coach Brad Fittler scrambling to name his team for the State of Origin series opener but one thing's for sure: there will be a host of fresh faces. 

An untimely injury crisis has thrown the Blues' plans out, with leading five-eighth contender Luke Keary sidelined through concussion and fellow halves Adam Reynolds and Mitchell Pearce also injured in Round 11 of the NRL.

There was some good news on Sunday with Reynolds cleared of a broken leg, but the Rabbitohs star looks set to be overlooked for Origin I in Brisbane on June 5 with Penrith's Nathan Cleary tipped to retain the No. 7 jersey.

Be it alongside Cleary or Reynolds, red-hot Rabbitohs five-eighth Cody Walker is expected to win his first NSW jersey.

Walker is one of several newcomers in the frame to make their State of Origin debuts, with

Wests Tigers utility Ryan Matterson, Canberra pair Jack Wighton and Nick Cotric and Brisbane young gun Payne Hass have all been subjects of intense discussion.

One bench spot appears up for grabs. Dragons back-rower Tariq Sims can force his way in with a big game against the Sharks this afternoon, while Matterson and Roosters' Angus Crichton remain in the mix.

Brad Fittler will announce the NSW Blues team for State of Origin I. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Brad Fittler will announce the NSW Blues team for State of Origin I. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Sharks veteran Josh Morris just has to get through the Dragons clash to win a recall in the centres. If he's injured, Cotric will move to right centre while Roosters' Daniel Tupou will come in on the wing.

Brad Fittler will reveal his team after 6pm Sunday.

LIKELY NSW TEAM

1. James Tedesco (Roosters)

2. Josh Addo-Carr (Storm)

3. Latrell Mitchell (Roosters)

4. Josh Morris (Sharks)

5. Nick Cotric (Raiders)

6. Cody Walker (Rabbitohs)

7. Nathan Cleary (Penrith)

8. Dave Klemmer (Knights)

9. Damien Cook (Rabbitohs)

10. Paul Vaughan (Dragons)

11. Boyd Cordner (Roosters)

12. Tyson Frizell (Dragons)

13. Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)

Interchange

14. Jack Wighton (Raiders)

15. Ryan Matterson (Wests Tigers)/Tariq Sims (Dragons)/Angus Crichton (Roosters)

16. Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs)

17. Payne Haas (Broncos)