Ryan Papenhuyzen and Cameron McInnes are set to be among the new faces in the NSW squad for November’s State of Origin series, while Queensland are likely to bolster their forward stocks with the inclusion of Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Pat Carrigan and Lindsay Collins.
Zac Lomax, Kotoni Staggs and Campbell Graham are vying for a centre position in the extended Blues squad, while Cody Walker is again in contention for a back-up playmaker role, along with Mitchell Moses and Mitchell Pearce, and prop Junior Paulo and hooker Api Koroisau could be other newcomers.
For Queensland, boom hooker Harry Grant is under consideration, along with veteran Jake Friend, utility back AJ Brimson and the versatile Kurt Capewell.
Officials are still determining the size of the squads each state will announce after the NRL grand final, with debate over whether 25 players is sufficient or if 27 is needed to cover the demands of the most intense Origin series in the concept’s 40-year history.
Scheduled at the end of the season for the first time, Origin will be played with the NRL’s new six-again and captain’s challenge rules under the control of a single referee and players will have just one week between each match to recover.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Blues and Maroons will be required to remain in bio-security bubbles for the duration of the three-match series and it is expected that they will only travel to Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane a day or two before each of the games on November 4, 11 and 18.