State. Of. Origin.
Nothing gets a Rugby League fan more excited than the three-game series, fused with passion, brute and compiled with many of league’s finest moments, it is the game that never stops giving. In recent times the Maroons dominance and stranglehold over the coveted trophy has brought more happiness to the Sunshine State than anyone could ever have predicted. In this era, the Queensland team has been spearheaded by the famous five of Slater, Inglis, Thurston, Cronk and Smith, it is then a widely speculated topic of discussion, of who will take the reins for Queensland after they all retire? To go along with those names, the aging Myles, Thaiday, Gillett (most likely), Boyd, Guerra and Cooper all retired, will have to be replaced. Will the Maroons dominance continue? A look at potential suitors to fill the vacated
To go along with those names, the aging Myles, Thaiday, Gillett (most likely), Boyd, Guerra and Cooper all retired, will have to be replaced. Will the Maroons dominance continue? A look at potential suitors to fill the vacated positions indicates Origin only has the potential to manifest into even greater epic proportions, with some rising superstars lining up to give it to New South Wales.
Fullback, Centers and Wingers
To begin the most contentious place in the team fullback, comprises three prodigies, vying to own this position. Three up and comers in Valentine Holmes, Cameron Munster and Kalyn Ponga will all be gunning for the number one jersey. My suggestion would be to put Munster at the back, Valentine on the wing, and Ponga as a probable bench utility. The Centers then pick themselves, in Chambers and Gagai and Oates rounds out the last wing spot.
Five-Eighth and Halfback
The onus falls heavily on Morgan, never a certainty for Origin, this position will be form dictated. With five games of Origin pressure experience and the logical future Cowboys captain, his form will have to of the highest standard to ensure he staves off Croft and Milford.
Such is the rise of Ashley Taylor, one would not be mistaken as naïve or delusional for naming the Titans halfback as a 10 year State of Origin and deliverer of NSW misery player.
The hooking role will be a tight tussle between Friend, Granville and McCullough, with McCullough’s rise in form this year, he takes the prized spot for me.
Front Row Forwards
In Papalli and Napa, NSW smaller men in the middle would likely practice their agility and stepping skills, to evade their rib-rattling tackles, capable of ironing out the fiercest of attackers.
Second Rowers and Lock
Whether Coen Hess has played himself into an Origin jersey, for Game 2 or 3, of the 2017 series remains to be seen, his place in the future side is undisputed. Gillett has been arguably the best second rower in the competition this year, and McGuire’s workload is extraordinary. All will nail down their spots, and be there in five years time.
Then the bench will inevitably change with injuries and form. In the utility spot once well stocked by Cronk’s services, there is a superabundance of players queueing up to fulfil every kid’s boyhood dream, of playing Origin for the almighty Queensland. A quadruple superstar line of players, are ready to fill the void with Croft, Ponga, Norman, Elgey and Milford, I see Ponga filling this position with his ability to cover numerous positions, and speed off the mark to pierce the defensive line. I feel Wallace and Kaufusi will play themselves into becoming Queensland regulars. The final bench spot will be a fight between Melbourne’s Glasby and Welch along with the Cowboys Jensen.
My Future Maroons Team
Fullback: Cameron Munster
Wing: Valentine Holmes
Center: Will Chambers (if not retired)/ O’Neill
Center: Dane Gagai
Wing: Corey Oates
Five-Eighth: Michael Morgan
Halfback: Ashley Taylor
Prop: Dylan Napa
Hooker: Andrew McCullough
Prop: Josh Papalii
Second Row: Matt Gillett (if not retired)/ Lowe
Second Row: Coen Hess
Lock: Josh McGuire
Interchange: Jarrod Wallace
Interchange: Felise Kaufusi
Interchange: Corey Jensen/Tim Glasby
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