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Top five players unlucky to have missed Origin selection

Five players who are unlucky not to have been selected for the first Origin game.

We pick out five players who this morning will consider themselves unlucky not to have been picked for either New South Wales or Queensland ahead of the first State of Origin.

  1. 1 Billy Slater

    For a long time now, Billy Slater has been a key member of the Queensland Origin dynasty, playing at fullback and forming a deadly spine combination with Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith.

    This year, he has been overlooked for the in-form Darius Boyd, who took the mantle during Slater's absence due to injury and has not looked back.

    Boyd is the form choice at the back, but many had expected Queensland to show loyalty to Slater and drop him into the fullback role, pushing Boyd to the wing as had previously been done.

    This is obviously not the case, as Boyd will start in the number one and Slater will be busy wondering what could have been while watching game one.

  2. 2 Peter Wallace

    2017 has not been a standout season for the pre-season premiership favourite Panthers, but Peter Wallace has stood tall and put in the hard yards to turn that around each week, racking up big tackle counts and providing plenty of direction out of dummy-half.

    Wallace has likely only missed selection for Origin through a groin injury picked up in Penrith's come from behind win over the Knights in Newcastle but it will still hurt the veteran who seemingly had earnt the right to pull on a Blues jumper again and try and end Queensland's reign of dominance.

  3. 3 Paul Vaughan

    Paul Vaughan has arguably been the form prop forward in the game over the course of 2017 and had firmed as a dark horse for a bench role over the last few weeks but has not made the cut.

    This may be a blessing in disguise for the big man who has flights to Hawaii booked over the Origin period to head off and be part of a mate's wedding party, but you'd have to think the big fella would have wanted his maiden Origin cap and, on performance, has probably earned it.

    The return from injury of Aaron Woods certainly wouldn't have helped Vaughan's chances at the selection table with only so much room for props, but could New South Wales miss his impact off the bench?

  4. 4 Shannon Boyd

    The big, hulking prop forward from Cowra already has four Australian caps to his name but it never really felt like he was being considered as a genuine option for the Blues this time around.

    With 78 NRL games and the aforementioned international honours already under his belt, plus his terrific performances in an engine room robbed of Paul Vaughan following his switch to the Dragons, you could easily see Boyd launching head first into the Origin cauldron with some serious vigour, though he may have to wait a while yet for his opportunity.

  5. 5 Valentine Holmes

    Valentine Holmes has been a huge part of the Sharks continuing their form of last season with his switch to fullback ensuring the Premiers have hardly missed bad-boy Ben Barba since his departure, but the lanky Queenslander couldn't crack Kevin Walters' side ahead of Dane Gagai or Corey Oates meaning he'll be watching the first game from either the stands or a TV at this rate.

    Another player with an International cap before an Origin appearance, Holmes has every right to feel aggrieved at not earning a nod this time around and will likely be left questioning what else he has to do to force his way into what is often a very settled Queensland side.

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Daniel Lang

Rugby League & Cricket editor at RealSport.

Daniel is a passionate advocate for the game of rugby league and the development of the sport across the world and, as such, writes with a zeal and determination to spread the gospel of the game.

A huge fan of cricket, football, NFL, Tennis and Supercar racing in Australia, Daniel can quickly find himself a casual fan of just about any sport after putting his mind to watching it.

Daniel is also one-half of the hugely successful podcast 'Panthers Weekly with Strawbs & Teach' where he talks all things Panthers Weekly while he also hosts the current affairs show 'the Strawbs Show' and the 'Summer of Cricket with Strawbs & Shnuu' as well as appearing on the Sydney FC covering 'Nothing But Blue Skies' podcast occasionally.

Top five players unlucky to have missed Origin selection

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