Roosters second-rower Aidan Guerra will make his debut in the Origin arena next week, replacing Sam Thaiday in the squad to take on the Blues.
Thaiday has not played for a number of weeks, and bookmakers have already reduced the odds of a brawl occurring to almost unbackable odds. Guerra has been named on the bench with Matt Gillett selected to start.
It’s a fair reward for the Italian Gumby, whose maladroit running style causes havoc for opposing defenders. He’s having a career year to follow on from a breakout finals series which put him firmly on the Queensland radar, followed by a two-try debut for the Italians in the World Cup.
Tyrion Lannister Jake Friend has been named 19th man, and will get his first jersey, but is unlikely to get a run with Cameron Smith in front of him as well as Daly Cherry Evans who could fill in for any unexpected injury. Regardless, it finally confirms that Friendy is the next line for the Queensland rake spot.
In a nice touch, the Queenslanders will retire former Roosters legend Arthur Beetson’s number 11 jersey for the first game. Chris McQueen will start in the number 18 jersey.
1. Billy SLATER Melbourne Storm
2. Darius BOYD Newcastle Knights
3. Greg INGLIS South Sydney Rabbitohs
4. Justin HODGES Brisbane Broncos
5. Brent TATE North Queensland Cowboys
6. Johnathan THURSTON North Queensland Cowboys
7. Cooper CRONK Melbourne Storm
8. Matt SCOTT North Queensland Cowboys
9. Cameron SMITH (c) Melbourne Storm
10. Nate MYLES Gold Coast Titans
18. Chris MCQUEEN* South Sydney Rabbitohs
12. Matt GILLETT Brisbane Broncos
13. Corey PARKER Brisbane Broncos
14. Daly CHERRY-EVANS Manly Sea Eagles
15. Ben TE’O South Sydney Rabbitohs
16. Aidan GUERRA Sydney Roosters
17. Josh PAPALII Canberra Raiders
19. Will CHAMBERS Melbourne Storm
20. Jake FRIEND Sydney Roosters
Coach: Mal Meninga
- *No. 11 jersey to be retired in honour of Arthur Beetson for Game 1.