State of Origin: NSW icon Laurie Daley tips head coach Michael Maguire to shuffle his 17-man squad following surprise selection calls

2024 State of Origin Series Launch
2024 State of Origin Series Launch

The New South Wales' tradition of announcing their side the day before Queensland has yet again given the Sunshine State an advantage, as teams go into camp for the 2024 State of Origin Series opener.

The Blues, who, in the 21st century, have vastly underperformed compared to their northern counterparts, have named four forwards on the interchange bench for the opening game in Melbourne.

The Queensland selectors, who traditionally pick their side a day later, have put a utility and outside back on their bench to throw turmoil into the opposition camp.

Former Blues captain and coach Laurie Daley has indirectly urged first-time Blues coach Michael McGuire to shuffle his starting lineup.

“It’s a gamble going in without that utility player. I get where you’re coming from. If you look at the team, and I like the team, but you try to cover for every scenario that may happen and I would just feel more comfortable with one of those, either Olakau’atu or Hudson Young, being 18th man and Burton in the 17,” Daley said on Sky Sports Radio.

The major story out of the New South Wales team announcement was the omission of their incumbent captain James Tedesco.

2023 State of Origin - NSW v QLD: Game 3
2023 State of Origin - NSW v QLD: Game 3

New South Wales desperate to reverse Queensland's Origin dominance

Since 1980, the Queensland Maroons have used every tactic to get the better of their Southern rivals.

From the dominance of King Wally Lewis in the '80s to the parachuting of Prince Alfie Langer into the decider, Queensland have always been able to dominate their counterparts.

However, this was held at bay by the Blues sides in the '90s either side of the Super League interregnum when NSW had a period of dominance that should have put the Maroons to the sword.

From the ashes of defeat, a generation of Queenslanders stood up to obliterate their more fancied New South Welsh opponents to blast the historic deadlock to pieces.

Such was the evenness of the state-against-state contest that at a point in the early 2000s, the cumulative total of points accrued was so even that a single game or series could change the lead.

2023 State of Origin - NSW v QLD: Game 3
2023 State of Origin - NSW v QLD: Game 3

Nevertheless, the dominance of the Maroons in recent times has shifted the balance, with the benefit over time of drawn series carrying on to give the Queenslanders the Shield even in years where no team won.

The State of Origin Series for 2024 kicks off at the MCG on Wednesday, June 5.

App download animated image Get the free App now