Holmes overlooked by Qld selectors
Queensland selectors have preferred Dane Gagai and Corey Oates on the wing, while leaving Darius Boyd at fullback, which means Sharks star Valentine Holmes was bee overlooked for Game One of the 2017 State of Origin series.
Also sticking with the centre combination of Will Chambers and Justin O’Neill, in staying consistent with their backline combination there is no room for Holmes, or for veteran Billy Slater who has also been omitted by coach Kevin Walters and his Maroons brains trust.
Outstanding for the Kangaroos in both the Four Nations last year and in the recent ANZAC Test, Holmes was considered a near certainty for the Maroons in this year’s Origin series however his non-selection now makes him available for the Sharks in their game against the Bulldogs on Saturday.
With very few Queensland-eligible players in their squad, it comes as little surprise the Maroons will run out without a team member from the reigning NRL premiers.
The Queenslanders have welcomed just two new players into their 18-man line-up, with Anhtony Milford at five eighth and Dylan Napa in the front row.
Johnathan Thurston has been named as 18th man as he continues to battle a shoulder injury and is unlikely to be fit in time for the kick off to game one next Wednesday.
The NSW team, which is set to be named at a Gala Ball at around 6.30pm tonight, looks set to include a healthy contingent of Sharks squad members in their line-up.
The Queensland squad for game one is listed below.
Queensland Maroons Origin I team
1. Darius Boyd (Brisbane Broncos)
2. Corey Oates (Brisbane Broncos)
3. Will Chambers (Melbourne Storm)
4. Justin O'Neill (North Queensland Cowboys)
5. Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights)
6. Anthony Milford (Brisbane Broncos)
7. Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm)
8. Dylan Napa (Sydney Roosters)
9. Cameron Smith (c) (Melbourne Storm)
10. Nate Myles (Manly Sea Eagles)
11. Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders)
12. Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos)
13. Josh McGuire (Brisbane Broncos)
14. Michael Morgan (North Queensland Cowboys)
15. Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos)
16. Aidan Guerra (Sydney Roosters)
17. Jacob Lillyman (Warriors)
18. Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys)