His outstanding form since returning from a two-game suspension has made it impossible for NSW selectors to ignore the claims of Andrew Fifita, with the Sharks prop chosen for the Blues for State of Origin game one next Wednesday.
Fifita returned after his enforced layoff to play a starring role for City in the annual City V Country match and in two games since has impressed for the Sharks in a close loss to the Warriors, then in their golden point victory last Saturday against the Titans.
A member of the NSW team in 2013 but overlooked last year, Fifita will be making his fourth appearance for the Blues at ANZ Stadium next Wednesday.
NSW coach Laurie Daley and his selection panel have named a team featuring a mixture of youth and experience, with Tigers hooker to lead the Blues in the absence of injured Sharks skipper Paul Gallen.
Surprisingly to some Sharks forward Luke Lewis has been omitted from the NSW team despite representing Australia in the recent Anzac Test match and after turning in a stand out performance in the Cronulla win over the Gold Coast.
The NSW team assembled at The Star Casino in Sydney today for the team announcement and will depart for their training camp in Coffs Harbour later this afternoon.
The Queensland team will also be named today with no selection surprises expected.
The NSW Team for game one of the State of Origin series is;
1. Josh Dugan
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Josh Morris
4. Michael Jennings
5. Will Hopoate
6. Mitchell Pearce
7. Trent Hodkinson
8. Aaron Woods
9. Robbie Farah ©
10. James Tamou
11. Beau Scott
12. Ryan Hoffman
13. Josh Jackson