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Brad Fittler's new-look Origin side and the age-old mantra of the Maroons being underdogs has set the tone for one of the most exciting series openers in recent memory, according to former NSW Blues five-eighth Jamie Soward.

In the latest edition of the NRL Podcast, the former Blues five-eighth gives in-depth analysis of both team's chances as well as highlights some of the key challenges both sides have faced in an action-packed lead up to the first game at the MCG.

After playing in the 2011 series under Ricky Stuart, Soward recounts his debut, his interactions with Wayne Bennett who was his club coach at the time and also shares his thoughts on what rookie half Nathan Cleary should do early in the match to gain confidence.

Soward also shares his views on what players want when it comes to the refereeing in the Origin arena and previews round 14 of the Telstra Premiership.

Using the NRL app? Click here to listen to the podcast

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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