NEW South Wales legend Brad Fittler has snubbed incumbent fullback James Tedesco in favour of Kangaroos centre Josh Dugan in his Blues team for the Origin series opener in Brisbane on May 31.
Dugan is currently out injured with a broken cheek bone, while Tedesco has been somewhat out of sorts at club level for the Wests Tigers in recent weeks.
Fittler cited a strong kick return as the primary reason for selecting Dugan at fullback for State of Origin game one against the Maroons at Suncorp Stadium.
In another selection shock, Fittler has opted to blood young Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell on the wing, despite being just one game back from a month long stint in the NSW Cup.
Veteran Robbie Farah got the nod at hooker ahead of Nathan Peats and Peter Wallace, while Jake Trbojevic, Paul Vaughan and Tyrone Peachey are the other debutants in the team.
Coach Laurie Daley is set to announce the Blues team on Monday night.
BRAD FITTLER'S NSW TEAM
1. Josh Dugan, 2. Blake Ferguson, 3. Jack Bird, 4. Jarryd Hayne, 5. Latrell Mitchell, 6. James Maloney, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. James Tamou, 9. Robbie Farah, 10. Andrew Fifita, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Boyd Cordner, 13. Jake Trbojevic, 14. Tyrone Peachey, 15. Wade Graham, 16. Paul Vaughan, 17. David Klemmer
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