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Winners And Losers From The State Of Origin Game 2 Team Announcements

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Winners And Losers From The State Of Origin Game 2 Team Announcements

The winner on the day will be the game of rugby league.

Well, maybe: more accurately, the winner on the day will probably be New South Wales, given the shellacking they dished out in Game 1 of State of Origin 2021 and the fact they're currently the bookies' favourites at $1.10 to win again.

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Teams for the showdown at Suncorp have been announced, with some big ins and even bigger outs.

Strike up I Thank You, the international anthem of Origin debuts, sit back, and let's go through the winners and losers from the squads.

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Credit: NRL
Credit: NRL

WINNER - Reece Walsh

The obvious big winner is Reece Walsh, the 18-year-old New Zealand Warriors fullback who is slated to make his Queensland bow after just 7 first grade games. He'll be the youngest debutant since Ben Ikin in 1995, and the player with the least top league appearances since... Ben Ikin in 1995.

Walsh has been a revelation since getting his first run against the Melbourne Storm on ANZAC Day, lighting up the league and displacing a legend in Roger Tuivasa-Sheck onto a wing.

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That said, it's difficult to imagine a harder situation for him to face in his first Origin start with his Maroons side coming off the back of their worst ever defeat at the hands of New South Wales.

LOSER - Brisbane Broncos

This will be the first Origin since their inception in 1988 that the Broncos won't have a single representative in either side.

Xavier Coates has been dropped due to injury, leaving the Maroons totally Bronco-free, a shameful situation for the state's biggest club.

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On top of that, Queensland have called up two players that the Broncos decided weren't good enough for them: the aforementioned Reece Walsh, who left Lang Park for the Warriors when coach Kevin Walters said he wasn't ready for first grade, and Andrew McCullough, the St George hooker who was deemed surplus to requirements.

Reece Walsh. Credit: PA
Reece Walsh. Credit: PA

WINNER - New South Wales

You don't change a winning team - unless, of course, a better option becomes available.

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New South Wales lost Jake Trbojevic through injury, but gain Angus Crichton back from suspension.

Interestingly, though, it's Junior Paulo who slots straight into the starting side with both Liam Martin and Roosters forward Crichton named on a seriously stacked bench.

Dally M Medallist Jack Wighton has kept the No.14 jumper, while Api Koroisau was named as 18th man.

Maroons coach Paul Green. Credit: NRL
Maroons coach Paul Green. Credit: NRL

LOSER - Paul Green

With Queensland making wholesale changes, one can't help but look at the coach.

In Paul Green's defence, he's picking about the best team that he has, and then hoping that he might be able to rely on some of his most-experienced troops to get him that W, with the partisan Brisbane crowd roaring them on.

Based on cattle alone, however, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that come 11pm on Sunday night, there'll only be one loser, and it probably won't be Brad Fittler.

Featured Image Credit: NRL/PA/Instagram/Reece Walsh

Topics: nrl, Australia

Mike Wood
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