Just who will the Maroons and Blues pick for Origin?
WITH State of Origin teams to be announced in two short weeks, I thought I would throw on my selector's cap and name my Queensland and New South Wales teams.
One thing that has become clear to me is Queensland look to have the stronger backline, but NSW has the better forward pack - time will tell what matters most in the Origin arena.
Queensland will need to move on from the retirements of Cooper Cronk, Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith very quickly if they are to be successful in 2018, but injuries to key forwards Matt Gillett and Josh McGuire won't help.
NSW have their fair share of injury concerns as well, with Mitch Pearce, Wade Graham, Jordan McLean and Jack de Belin all injured.
Greg Inglis (Captain)
This team is a bit light on up front, so Cooper and Kaufusi may need to play the 80 minutes, leaving Scott, Napa, Wallace, Hess, Arrow and Papalii to play through the middle against what is sure to be a very powerful NSW forward pack.
The backline is full of strike power, with Corey Oates and Valentine Holmes unlucky to miss out.
Hunt at hooker is questionable, but his creativity, potential goal kicking and Origin experience could prove vital. Andrew McCullough and Jake Friend can consider themselves unlucky.
Ponga on the bench is a risk, but his footwork and amazing form at club level mean he can not be left out.
Boyd Cordner (Captain)
Forward power is the hallmark of this team when you consider Aaron Woods, Jordan McLean, Wade Graham, Jack de Belin and Shannon Boyd all miss out because of injury or the simple fact there isn't room for them.
In the backline, Blake Ferguson is unlucky as is Adam Reynolds.
Inexperience is the big question mark on the team.
Ten of the 17 have not played State of Origin before - Sims, Vaughan, Peachey, Campbell-Gillard, McInnes, Cleary, Tom Trbojevic, Mitchell, Aitken and Ado-Carr - but all are in good form and warrant selection.
The bench utility spot is the most contentious with Damien Cook the most unlucky to miss out.
An in-form Jack Bird would walk into the spot, but his performances have not been up to scratch.
Peachey can cover multiple positions and his speed around the ruck at the end of halves, playing behind what is likely to be a dominant forward pack, could prove a match winner.