With the opening of the 2022 State of the Origin Games just a fortnight away, there is one more week to force players to count.
New South Wales coach Brad Fitler will announce a squad of 22 players on Sunday night, while Rookie Maroons coach Billy Slater will do the same on Monday.
And with eight NRL games now and then, there are some big questions about selection.
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Who will solve Freddy’s biggest headache?
The Blues are facing an injury crisis and the three-quarter line where they have suffered the most.
Lateral Mitchell And Tom Trobozevic Last year they had two best performers, playing left and right center, respectively. But due to injury is not available.
Fetler Koe of Trobozevic, lateral injury fill-in
After all, Mitchell, who has been sidelined with a serious hamstring injury, could return for the second match. Trbojevic is booked for shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the series and NRL season.
That means Fitler is looking for a brand new center pairing.
Appears to be the main competitor Cotoni Stags And Stephen Crichton. Two young guns – from Brisbane and Penrith – are in form and knocking on Fitler’s door to make their original debut.
Stags will line up to the right of his choice, while Crichton can play both. On the left, he will be joined by Penrith teammates Jerome Louis and Brian Too for the Blues. Paul Galen has chosen both to make his NSW debut for Origin Eye.
Another option for Fitler is to pick Canberra fifth-eighth Jack Whitton To play in the center. Whitton has started five of his nine origins in the center, although he was picked on the bench last year.
He doesn’t have the aggressive flair or athleticism of Cricketton, but he has a big body and an experienced defender who can do the job when called upon.
Meritorious youth center Campbell Graham And Bradman is the best Future Origin players are considered, but at the moment they seem to be declining. Their NRL side – South Sydney and Newcastle – are also fighting for form.
Is Ponga’s No. 1 jumper in danger?
Kalin Ponga Fullback should be considered an automatic selection for Queensland, but Newcastle’s formidable form this season has been his pick under the clouds.
The Ponger Knights have a 3-8 win-loss record and the captain has been criticized for poor performance.
Broncos defense ponga bamboo
Speaking to Courier Mail earlier this month, Maroons coach Slater Pongar threw his support behind his back.
“Do I think he’s playing bad? No, I don’t,” Slater said.
“Kalin made a huge difference in Game Three last year (for Queensland). I know what Kalin can create on the Origin field and that’s part of my role and the role of my coaching staff in preparing them well.”
Several of Panga’s players are breathing down his neck as he struggles to hold his place on the original side.
Valentine Homes He played the first two matches of last year’s series to cover the injured Ponga at fullback. His cowboys are flying at the moment, and although Holmes has been transformed into a center in Townsville, he is equally adept at fullback or a wing.
Fighter young gun Rees Walsh His origin is ending in his debut and he is a fullback. Brisbane teenager Selwyn Cobo Names on everyone’s face. He plays for the Broncos on the right wing but is seen as the future Queensland fullback.
Will Slater really pick Teen Star?
Kobo is flying an original jumper but Slater and the other Maroon giants are keeping a close eye on him, as well as another boom teenager.
He plays for Brisbane on the right wing but seems lucky to follow in the footsteps of Greg Inglis for a fullback.
He is unlikely to be the No. 1 jumper for the Maroons, but Slater – who made his debut in the 20s – wants to gamble but can still hide on a wing.
Queensland selector Darren Lockyer – who is also a member of the Broncos board – could not confirm whether he would choose Kobo for origin.
“There are some young kids out there showing potential, but Origin is another step up,” Lockyer said.
“You have to understand when there are guys like Selwyn Kobo, who is a superstar in the making, you have to make sure they are ready for it (origin).
“He’s a very comfortable player. But going to the Blues in Sydney is a big challenge. I’m not saying he can’t do it, but you have to take a lot. Consider.”
Lockyer was also referring to North Queensland Backrover Jeremiah NanaiWho has jumped off the field this season and is suddenly one of the most exciting forwards in the NRL.
Billy Slater talks about picking young stars for Origin
Nanai is gunning for an original debut for Queensland.
“One thing they don’t have is experience,” Slater told Wide World of Sports.
“The thing I see is a series of activities on the field. It’s not the highlights that Kobo and Nanai are creating, it’s the effort, the defensive action.
“Age is just a number to me if they do those things well.”
Can Fitler pick out-of-form props?
Newcastle destroyer force Daniel Saifiti NSW’s first-choice starting prop since making his Original debut in two games of the 2019 series, he played seven straight games for the Blues before being dropped from three games due to injury last year.
But he even said that Fitler should not have chosen him this time.
“I have two weeks to prove my eligibility but to be honest if it doesn’t happen I did it myself because, at the current rate, I wouldn’t pick me,” Saifiti told NRL.com after the recent Knights game.
If the coach listens to the player and looks elsewhere, he has some options.
Brisbane Prop Pain smiles Virtually one of the early prop spots is given land. Parramatta bookends Reagan Campbell-Gillard And Paolo Jr. Saifiti, on the other hand, is a clear contender to replace him.
Dale FinukenThe man who replaced Saifiti in Game Three last year is unfortunately injured. Jack Trobozevic Also started in the front row for NSW and will be considered for the job.
Blues legend Andrew Johns advises left field.
Johns Wide tells World of Sports: Freddie and VIII She believes Tariq Sims Having spent most of his career backwards, he can now play as a middle forward.
Sims had a shock selection by Fitler last year but there was a revelation on the left side of the NSW, connecting brilliantly with Jerome Louie and Lateral Mitchell to destroy Queensland.
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