The NSW Blues during Game 1 of the State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane
The NSW Blues during Game 1 of the State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane DAVE HUNT

Origin: Unchanged Blues rue Maroons' head start

NSW coach Laurie Daley has named an unchanged side for Origin II but the Blues have been frustrated by an anomaly in the NRL draw which heavily favours Queensland.

Queensland had 16 of their 17-man squad finish their NRL club commitments over the weekend by Saturday.

Conversely, NSW had 10 players in matches on Sunday and Monday.

That has given the Maroons a 48-hour edge, which Daley called a "massive" advantage in such a short build-up to Wednesday week's big game.

Due to player wellbeing, NSW have had to delay their first training session until Thursday to aid recovery.

"Our first session will have to be Thursday because of the players that played on Sunday," Daley said.

"They need time to recover. We had the majority of our players play on Sunday and Monday. That gives Queensland a two-day advantage in their preparation.

"We have had to change our preparation because we had so many players play late in the round, when all their players were finished.

"The other thing in Queensland's advantage is that 16 of their players finished on Saturday. That's an extra two-day recovery, which is massive. They only had one player who played on Sunday, (Sydney Roosters prop) Dylan Napa."

NSW and Roosters players Mitch Pearce and Blake Ferguson played on Sunday against Wests Tigers stars Aaron Woods and James Tedesco.

And on Sunday at ANZ Stadium, Canterbury's Josh Jackson, Brett Morris and David Klemmer played a tough game against St George Illawarra's Tyson Frizell, Jack de Belin and Josh Dugan.

NSW and Roosters skipper Boyd Cordner would have made it 11 players but he withdrew before the Tigers match with a leg injury.

However, Daley was thrilled to name an unchanged side.

"It's stable," Daley said.

"They all played well in game one and all deserve their positions."

NSW team for State of Origin II:

1. James Tedesco

2. Brett Morris

3. Josh Dugan

4. Jarryd Hayne

5. Blake Ferguson

6. James Maloney

7. Mitchell Pearce

8. Aaron Woods

9. Nathan Peats

10. Andrew Fifita

11. Boyd Cordner (c)

12. Josh Jackson

13. Tyson Frizell


14. David Klemmer

15. Wade Graham

16. Jake Trbojevic

17. Jack Bird

Extra Reserves

Jack de Belin

Matt Moylan

Tom Trbojevic

News Corp Australia

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