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The Blues have a settled line-up after their huge game-one win while the besieged Maroons have more injuries and five changes as they look to get the series back on track at their Suncorp Stadium home fortress.

Maroons: A massive blow for Queensland with rookie fullback Reece Walsh ruled out after breaking down during the captain's run on Saturday with a hamstring strain.

Sharks winger Ronaldo Mulitalo originally came into the team as winger but was withdrawn on Sunday morning due to doubt over his eligibility. Xavier Coates will start on the wing.

Titans forward Jai Arrow was treated in hospital with a course of intravenous antibiotics but returned to training on Thursday with his forearm strapped with a guard on it.

Andrew McCullough comes in at hooker for Grant with his Dragons teammate Ben Hunt also returning to the Maroons fold in Brimson's place as the bench utility.

Josh Papalii (suspension) returns in the front row with Cowboys prop Francis Molo handed a debut on the interchange. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui shifts to lock, Jai Arrow to second row and David Fifita to the bench. 

Coen Hess is the 18th man.

Blues: The Blues had a clean bill of health after the captain's run on Saturday.

Tom Trbojevic returned to Blues training on Thursday having sat out a session earlier in the week. Trbojevic told NRL.com he missed the session due to player load as he had gone around on Sunday for Manly. He said it had nothing to do with trying to protect his hamstrings.

With prop Jake Trbojevic ruled out by a hip injury, Angus Crichton joins the team on the bench. Junior Paulo takes Trbojevic's place in the starting front row.

Cam Murray remains in an edge role rather than returning to his preferred spot in the middle rotation while game one debutant Liam Martin, who impressed in his half-hour stint after being a late call-up, also holds his place in the 17.

Apisai Koroisau is the 18th man, with Campbell Graham dropping out of the playing squad on game day. Dale Finucane was omitted on Saturday when the squad was cut to 19.

NSW

1. James Tedesco. The Roosters and Blues captain wasn't the most eye-catching of the NSW backs in the game one demolition but more than did his job. His nine tackle breaks and more than 200 run metres underscored the constant threat he poses with ball in hand while his work off the ball was exemplary as always.

2. Brian To'o. The tackle-busting Panther made a brilliant start to his Origin career with two tries in game one. Far more impressive and important than the tries though was his unstoppable work out of yardage with match-highs in runs (27) and metres (233) while his supposed weakness under the high ball was barely even tested.

3. Latrell Mitchell. The South Sydney superstar's return to the Origin arena was nothing less than spectacular. Playing in his old centre spot, Mitchell was devastating with ball in hand, monstering close friend and clubmate Dane Gagai on his way to two line breaks, two tries, two try assists and a match-high 10 tackle busts.

4. Tom Trbojevic. It can be hard to find enough superlatives for the unstoppable Manly fullback. Showed in 2019 he is capable of rewriting how a centre plays in Origin football and took that to new levels in his man-of-the-match effort in Origin I, running both sides of the field as a proxy second fullback, scoring three tries and setting up another.

5. Josh Addo-Carr. Was one of the first names on the game one team sheet but The Foxx was the quietest of the Blues backs after being switched to the right wing with all the action on the opposite flank. Let nobody down with 100 metres and no errors but will be hopeful of some more action in game two.

Anaconda Fish of Origin - Episode II

6. Jarome Luai. Next time somebody writes an article along the lines of "the greatest debuts in Origin history", Luai's name could well make it onto the list.

The Panthers playmaker was irrepressible in Origin I with his full range of slick passing and evasive running on show, winning the war of words with his Maroons rivals and with his underrated defence easily winning the one-on-one battle with Felise Kaufusi, who made him a target.

Luai breaks through to unleash Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic

7. Nathan Cleary. Has spent most of his previous eight Origins playing second fiddle in the halves but showed in game one he is ready to lead this team. Showed some silky ball skills in early tries to Trbojevic and To'o and lit up with his running game in the second, breaking the line twice. Has come of age as a leader at this level.

8. Daniel Saifiti. The hard-running Knights prop has gone from shock bolter to automatic selection over the past two Origin series with his huge line-bending carries his biggest asset. Saifiti's running figures of 9.5 metres per hit-up carry and 147 total metres per game are both top 10 among middle forwards in the NRL.

Cook jumps out to send Saifiti crashing over

9. Damien Cook. Had to endure doubts over his spot in the team ahead of game one but showed why he is there with another excellent performance. Didn't run it too many times but when he did he made it count and otherwise provided slick service to keep his forwards on the front foot.

10. Junior Paulo. The Eels prop was huge off the bench in game one, carrying defenders downfield with every carry as he amassed a whopping 5.5 post-contact metres per run – easily the best of any player from either side. Moves into the run-on side ahead of Payne Haas to cover for the loss of Jake Trbojevic for game two.

11. Cameron Murray. The South Sydney lock is certainly a better middle than an edge but did a crucial job for the Blues in game one shutting down Maroons tackle-buster David Fifita.

Expect him to spend less time in that role in game two with Angus Crichton replacing Jake Trbojevic in the 17, likely shifting to the middle once Crichton is injected on an edge within the opening half hour.

12. Tariq Sims. The hard-hitting Dragon earned a starting berth in Crichton's game one absence and absolutely made it count with his best Origin game in his third match and first run-on start. Gets the chance to play two Origins in the same series for the first time after doing a great job in attack and defence in the series opener.

13. Isaah Yeo. The Panthers lock won't feature in a stack of the game one highlights but was close to the best forward on the park, reproducing the vital role he plays at Penrith across a superb 80-minute stint for the Blues, capped off by a late try-saver out wide.

14. Jack Wighton. Didn't get much of a chance off the bench in game one, with four minutes in the first half while Nathan Cleary had a facial cut looked at and some more minutes at the end.

May not get any more minutes in game two barring injury but covers plenty of positions and gives Fittler a heap of versatility within the 17.

Crichton set to start on the bench

15. Angus Crichton. Would certainly have been in the 17 and probably in the starting side for game one barring injury. Has to be content with a bench spot with Fittler reluctant to unnecessarily disrupt a side coming off a 50-6 win.

Can do a job in the middle if needed but more likely to come on in his preferred edge role and shift Cam Murray to the middle. His past four club games have yielded four tries, 22 busts and 625 run metres.

16. Payne Haas. Another of the Blues who had his best Origin in game one, Haas made more metres than any forward other than Saifiti in a single 57-minute spell either side of half time. His four busts was the most of any forward in the game and his 33 tackles was one behind Cook's team-high 34.

17. Liam Martin. A whirlwind call-up after incumbent Tyson Frizell was injured just minutes before the Blues were set to announce their game one team, Martin made his presence felt from the moment he got on the field, rattling Maroons ball-runners and getting stuck in – precisely what Fittler would have wanted from the debutant and making it hard if not impossible to drop him for game two.

18. Api Koroisau. Game one's 18th man will again provide coverage during game two. Effectively serving as Cook's understudy after going close to dethroning him for game one, Koroisau will be more than ready if and when his time comes.

19. Campbell Graham. Another player reprising his extended squad duties, Campbell is a former NSW Origin player at junior level who is likely to come into calculations for a senior debut in the next year or two.

20. Dale Finucane. One of the unluckiest players not to be picked for game one, Finucane can safely claim to be the unluckiest not to be picked for game two.

Denied match fitness by a nagging calf injury for the series opener and denied this time around by the Blues' huge game one win and the return of Crichton, Finucane will make an impact by simply being around the squad and is next cab of the rank if any forward is unavailable for game three.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Maroons is number 2 Valentine Holmes
    Fullback for Blues is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Maroons is number 5 Kyle Feldt
    Winger for Blues is number 2 Brian To'o
  • Centre for Maroons is number 3 Kurt Capewell
    Centre for Blues is number 3 Latrell Mitchell
  • Centre for Maroons is number 4 Dane Gagai
    Centre for Blues is number 4 Tom Trbojevic
  • Winger for Maroons is number 20 Xavier Coates
    Winger for Blues is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
  • Five-Eighth for Maroons is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Blues is number 6 Jarome Luai
  • Halfback for Maroons is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans
    Halfback for Blues is number 7 Nathan Cleary

Forwards

  • Prop for Maroons is number 8 Christian Welch
    Prop for Blues is number 8 Daniel Saifiti
  • Hooker for Maroons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
    Hooker for Blues is number 9 Damien Cook
  • Prop for Maroons is number 10 Josh Papalii
    Prop for Blues is number 10 Junior Paulo
  • 2nd Row for Maroons is number 11 Jai Arrow
    2nd Row for Blues is number 11 Cameron Murray
  • 2nd Row for Maroons is number 12 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Blues is number 12 Tariq Sims
  • Lock for Maroons is number 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui
    Lock for Blues is number 13 Isaah Yeo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Maroons is number 14 Ben Hunt
    Interchange for Blues is number 14 Jack Wighton
  • Interchange for Maroons is number 15 Moeaki Fotuaika
    Interchange for Blues is number 15 Angus Crichton
  • Interchange for Maroons is number 16 David Fifita
    Interchange for Blues is number 16 Payne Haas
  • Interchange for Maroons is number 17 Francis Molo
    Interchange for Blues is number 17 Liam Martin

Reserves

  • Reserve for Maroons is number 18 Coen Hess
    Reserve for Blues is number 18 Apisai Koroisau

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Queensland

2. Valentine Holmes. The Cowboys fullback was hardly the reason for the Maroons' game one woes but in a perfect world would be playing wing rather than fullback at Origin level anyway, where he has dominated the Blues in the past.

Stronger on kick returns than the man he replaces, Xavier Coates, and will provide Walsh plenty of support.

Reece lightning bolts into Origin history

20. Xavier Coates. The Storm-bound speed machine was originally dropped following game one but wins a game-day reprieved following the withdrawal of Ronaldo Mulitalo due to doubts over his eligibility. 

3. Kurt Capewell. Had a sterling start to his Origin career in the centres in 2020 but had a tougher time of it in game one this year marking the in-form Tom Trbojevic. Did score his side's only try with a powerful run.

4. Dane Gagai. Famously brings his best every time he pulls on the Maroon jersey but had a very rare off night in game one after a build-up hampered by tonsillitis and a trip to hospital, made tougher by Souths teammate Latrell Mitchell's red-hot form. Don't expect him to have two quiet Origins in a row.

5. Kyle Feldt. Aside from giving away one costly early penalty Feldt looked comfortable on debut, or as much as was possible in the face of a Blues onslaught. Has come up with some big plays this year and has two tries in his past two games.

6. Cameron Munster. Munster has been close to Queensland's most important player since the retirements of Slater, Cronk, Smith and Thurston but was underdone due to a foot injury heading into game one and it showed. Another who should be better in game two.

Maroons' team announcement

7. Daly Cherry-Evans. The Queensland skipper was a shattered man after the record game one loss but has since responded in the best possible way, with two towering performances in huge club wins.

Although the fact those wins came against a host of his Maroons teammates playing for the Cowboys and Titans is arguably a little counterproductive.

8. Christian Welch. Welch's head knock was one of the real turning points of game one. The Maroons were in the arm wrestle until he was forced from the field while it was still nil-all. Among the best few front-rowers in the game, a fully fit Welch is vital to Queensland's game two hopes.

9. Andrew McCullough. The veteran Dragons rake is recalled for his fourth Origin and first since 2018 after the injuries to Harry Grant and Reed Mahoney. A reliable defender with a handy kicking game, McCullough should keep things steady through the middle.

10. Josh Papalii. Missed badly by Queensland in game one due to suspension, Papalii was always short odds to come back into the side even had the Maroons won. By his own admission, Papalii's 2021 season has been inconsistent but there is no doubting his impact in his two club games since he returned from suspension.

11. Jai Arrow. A bit of a curve ball from coach Paul Green with Arrow listed to start on an edge – a position he had never started in six seasons of NRL until last week against Brisbane. Likely moves into the middle rotation early once David Fifita is injected from the bench.

12. Felise Kaufusi. Did his best to unsettle Blues debutant Jarome Luai in game one, running at him with intent but arguably coming off second best. Has been a reliable operator for the Maroons in 10 straight games and in impeccable form for the ladder-leading Storm so expect a response in game two.

13. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui. One of the few Maroons forwards to make any sort of impact with his running game in game one, Fa'asuamaleaui moves from prop to lock for game two. Has been churning through plenty of metres for the Titans, although his club has also been leaking plenty of points of late.

Hunt feeds Burns on the charge

14. Ben Hunt. Hunt's absence from game one looks like the biggest selection blunder of the series to date in hindsight.

A consistent performer at this level, more than capable of defending in the middle for 80 minutes with the ball skills to excel in the halves or at hooker and coming off an imperious match-winning effort in Canberra, Hunt shapes as a big 'in' for the Maroons.

15. Moeaki Fotuaika. The only man in Queensland's game one 17 to walk off Queensland Country Bank Stadium with his reputation enhanced. Made the most metres of any Maroons forward with 115, and was the only Queenslander to finish the match with a tackle efficiency over 90%.

David Fifita scores as the kicking clinic continues for the Titans

16. David Fifita. Was well handled by Cameron Murray in game one but with easily the most tries and busts of any forward in the NRL this year it is still a curious decision to demote Fifita to the bench.

Expect him to come on early to shift Arrow to the middle when he will be fresh to unleash his running game against some more weary Blues forwards.

17. Francis Molo. Possibly an even bigger bolter than Walsh on the game two team list, the Dragons-bound Cowboys front rower has been in steady rather than commanding form for the Cowboys and displaces Joe Ofahengaue as Paul Green's bench middle.

Molo crashes over from a Dearden pass

18. Coen Hess. Again in the extended list, Hess is unlikely to add to his six Queensland caps this week unless injury befalls someone else in the squad. Has been in strong form since moving from an edge to the middle at club level this year.

19. Ronaldo Mulitalo. A name plenty of pundits thought may come into the 17 on the wing for game two, Mulitalo may well have been there for game one had a persistent knee injury not rubbed him out from rounds six to 11. Has scored four tries in his past three games for the Sharks.

Origin II in Brisbane is sold out but tickets are still on sale for game three at Stadium Australia in Sydney on July 14 - get your tickets at NRL.com/tickets.