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NSW Picks Players From Bad Teams In Bold State Of Origin Gamble

Well they've tried picking players from successful teams and look how that worked out.

23/05/2016 12:56 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Nah, we've got no idea what they were thinkin' either.

Queensland has won nine of the last ten State of Origin Origin series. So where did desperate New South Wales selectors look when seeking to restore some balance in the rugby league universe?

To the bottom of the ladder, that's where.

Eight of the 19 players in the Blues train-on squad have been plucked from clubs in the bottom half of the NRL ladder. That includes two from the 15th-placed Roosters, two from the 13th-placed Wests Tigers -- plus players from the teams running 12th, 11th and 10th.

There are three players from the surprise competition leaders, the Cronulla Sharks, but 15 of the 19 are sourced from teams running 5th or worse.

The Queensland team is named on Tuesday and will feature the vast majority of players from teams in the top three. Whoever they pick, they'll probably conjure some sort of miracle like the famous 1994 escape.

Here's the full NSW squad. Coach Laurie Daley didn't name positions, but the good judges -- and plenty of the bad judges too -- reckon the run-on team will look like this.

1. Matt Moylan
2. Josh Mansour
3. Michael Jennings
4. Josh Dugan
5. Blake Ferguson
6. James Maloney
7. Adam Reynolds
8. Paul Gallen (c)
9. Robbie Farah
10. Aaron Woods
11. Josh Jackson
12. Boyd Cordner
13. Greg Bird

Bench
Andrew Fifita
James Tamou
David Klemmer
Dylan Walker

Nearly but not quite
Tyson Frizell
Josh Morris

Development player who's just hanging round with the team
Bryce Cartwright

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Suggestions NSW coach Laurie Daley played "pin the tail on the donkey" to choose his squad may be overstated, but only just.

The big story selection-wise is Robbie Farah, who's played just a handful of games this year for the Wests Tigers due to injury, and whose future as an NRL player seemed uncertain before season 2016 due to an ongoing contract dispute which carried on longer than War and Peace.

Many feel Cronulla hooker Michael Ennis is hard done-by.

But with four debutants in the squad, including yet another untested halves combo in James Maloney and Adam Reynolds, Farah's Origin experience and added creativity around the ruck has clearly been rated as more valuable than Ennis' in-your-face niggle.

Origin I is in Sydney next Wednesday night. It's the first of two matches to be held in Sydney this year.

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