NSW coach Laurie Daley has named four debutants to play in the opening State of Origin match of the 2016 series next week.
After loosing 52-6 in the final match in the 2015 edition, Daley has looked to youth and the future to reclaim the coveted Origin trophy.
Albion Park first grade player Aiden Menzies said the four debutants Daley has named will struggle.
“They are all good players but origin is a completely different game. I think (Matt) Moylan from the Panthers is a great young player but the physicality and intensity of origin is just another step up,” he said.
He also said Dylan Walker was a wasted pick for NSW and they would have been better served naming Tyson Frizell on the bench.
“They are trying to copy the formula that Queensland have used in recent years with a utility on the bench but NSW has always done better with four forwards in reserve,” Menzies said.
Menzies said Josh Dugan (NSW) and Greg Inglis (QLD) would have the biggest impact on the series.
“they are both just big, physical, tough players and are so hard to stop once they get into the open field,” he said.
Dugan and Inglis are leading their teams in run metres per game, averaging 169.82m and 140.18m respectively for the 2016 season.
It is difficult to split the teams on paper, as the match ups (see image) a even and hard-fought affair through the middle.
NSW has a slight edge in hit-ups and tackles in the starting forwards, but Queensland has the advantage when it comes to line breaks and tries coming from the backs.
NSW has only 111 State of Origin appearances in its line-up, while while Queensland has 229 caps to its name.
Menzies nominated a two-one series victory to Queensland, but said NSW would not let the scores blow out like last year.
“I think it will be close with only a try or two in each game. Game three last year (52-6) was the exception not the rule,” he said.
He said Blues success rested on their ability to counter the heart of Queensland – Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and Jonathan Thurston who have played 84 Origins between them.