Four Sharks in Blues squad
The Sharks quartet of Andrew Fifita, Wade Graham, James Maloney and Jack Bird have all been included in the NSW squad for Game One of the 2017 State of Origin series.
The four Sharks were members of the NSW team during the series last year, with their selection a reward for their outstanding club form in both their premiership winning season of 2016 and through the early rounds this year.
For Fifita game one will be his eighth match for the Blues, while it will represent the seventh appearance for Maloney, the third for Bird and the second game for Graham.
Fifita has been named for his first run on start for NSW, while Bird and Graham will be on the interchange bench.
The Sharks contingent has been included in a NSW team to be captained by Rooster Boyd Cordner, which mixes experience with a handful of new faces, with the likes of debutant Nathan Peats joining his Gold Coast teammate Jarryd Hayne in the Blues squad.
Josh Dugan, announced on Saturday to be joining the Sharks in 2018, has been chosen in the centres despite being sidelined since fracturing a cheekbone playing for the Kangaroos in the ANZAC Test match.
Coach Laurie Daley couldn’t find a place for veteran hooker Robbie Farah, while Sharks skipper Paul Gallen wasn’t considered after retiring from Origin football at the end of the 2016 series.
The NSW squad attended a Team Announcement dinner at The Star Event Centre in Sydney tonight and will go into camp, flying to the Gold Coast before heading to Murwillumbah, on Tuesday afternoon.
The first game of the 2017 State of Origin series is scheduled for Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Wednesday, May 31.
The NSW Team for State of Origin game one is listed below.
1 James Tedesco
2 Blake Ferguson
3 Josh Dugan
4 Jarryd Hayne
5 Brett Morris
6 James Maloney
7 Mitchell Pearce
8 Aaron Woods
9 Nathan Peats
10 Andrew Fifita
11 Josh Jackson
12 Boyd Cordner
13 Tyson Frizell
14 David Klemmer
15 Wade Graham
16 Jake Trbojevic
17 Jack Bird
Stand By players