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Kangaroos form team: Blues dominate experts' squad after Origin win

NSW's total State of Origin dominance is reflected in the fourth Australian form team chosen by experts Jamie Soward, Brett Kimmorley and Steve Renouf.

Every month this season, for a series presented by Gallagher, the experts will each select a 17-man Kangaroos squad with a composite team then assembled based on their most popular picks.

Incumbency and career achievements weren't part of the selection criteria, so the trio's teams aren't necessarily a reflection of who they believe should make Australia's next official side.

After the Blues reclaimed the Origin shield with thumping back-to-back wins - outscoring the Maroons 76-6 - five-eighth Cameron Munster was the only Queenslander to make the experts' team.

Soward and Kimmorley gave the incumbent Kangaroos pivot a reprieve because his NSW counterpart Jarome Luai has indicated that he will continue to represent Samoa at the international level.

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Outside of Munster, the entire Blues team that triumphed in game two on Sunday was chosen except bench forward Liam Martin. Jake Trbojevic, who played the series-opener before suffering a hip injury, was deemed to have done enough to secure an interchange berth.

Nathan Cleary's immediate playing future is unclear after he hurt his shoulder in Origin II, but since he played through the pain to star in that match he was a straightforward choice to wear the No.7 jersey.

Here's who the experts chose individually.

Jamie Soward

Only one Queenslander earned selection for Soward, who admitted he "could've rattled off 1-17 for NSW, but I won't".

"The backline is all NSW - exactly the same - except I've got Cameron Munster in at number six," the three-time Blues five-eighth said.

"I feel like if everyone was playing their best footy, Cameron would be the only exception in that backline because Jarome [Luai, NSW five-eighth] has pledged his allegiance to Samoa."

Soward praised the "enormous" effort from NSW prop Junior Paulo and said second-rower Tariq Sims - a first-time pick in his Kangaroos form team - had shown he was still an elite performer.

"Tariq Sims has surprised a lot of people," Soward said.

"We knew how good he is at the Dragons and [some people questioned] whether he still had that level in him. We knew he did and he's been able to prove that through the Origin series."

Meanwhile, Jack Wighton did enough to fill the utility role on the bench despite not displaying "the full kit and kaboodle" for the Blues.

Brett Kimmorley

"We've had two Origins in the same month - unbelievable performances from NSW," said Kimmorley, a 10-time Blues halfback.

"In some regards, [I've shown] a bit of loyalty for being an incumbent Australian player and there are some opportunities with a number of players being unavailable.

"We're going to go with the NSW back five ... The two State of Origin games should be enough to say why we've picked that back five."

Kimmorley conceded Jarome Luai had "probably gone past" Cameron Munster on form but, like Soward, he went with the Maroons pivot because Luai's preference is to keep representing Samoa.

Dragons playmaker Ben Hunt produced a blinder to help his team beat the Raiders in round 15 before impressing Kimmorley with his work off Queensland's interchange in game two.

"The biggest change Queensland can do if Kalyn Ponga, AJ Brimson and Reece Walsh aren't available is put Munster to fullback and play Ben Hunt and Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves," he said.

Steve Renouf

Even the great Queensland centre couldn't deny NSW's supremacy.

"The majority of that team deserve to be there," Renouf said.

"Let's go back historically, the Australian team was picked on the Origin teams. The timing has worked out well with what we do here.

"You're seeing the best of the best play and NSW has the majority of those players at the moment," the 11-time Origin player added.

"They've shown at the top level what they can do."

However, he is keeping his faith in Cameron Munster.

"I know he hasn't had a happy series, but I think he probably deserves to be there. [Test level] would be a good place for him to redeem himself," Renouf said of the talismanic five-eighth.


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARL Commission, NRL clubs or state associations.

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