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State of Origin teams: Blues axe Tedesco, Dearden in for Maroons

James Tedesco NSW State of Origin news
Roosters veteran James Tedesco is out of the NSW squad for the 2024 State of Origin opener, with Penrith’s Dylan Edwards picked at fullback. (Picture: NSWRL)

New South Wales coach Michael Maguire has made the bold call to drop long-serving fullback James Tedesco for the first game of the 2024 State of Origin series.

Meanwhile, Cowboys captain Tom Dearden has won the race to replace injured five-eighth Cameron Munster in the Queensland side for the June 5 opener at Accor Stadium.

Maguire, coming into his first series as Blues coach, stressed that it was not an easy decision to replace Roosters skipper Tedesco with Panthers gun Dylan Edwards.

“I’ve got the utmost respect for ‘Teddy’, he’s done everything in the game and I’ll hold what he said to me, but I can understand why he’s going to go down as one of the champions of the game,” he said.

“He’s one of the most consistent players I’ve seen in a long time.”

Maguire also said he was confident that Sharks star Nicho Hynes, who aggravated a calf problem in Cronulla’s round 12 loss to Penrith, would be fit to take his place at halfback.

If Hynes doesn’t pull up, Canterbury’s Matt Burton and Sydney’s Luke Keary are on hand to partner Panthers playmaker Jarome Luai in the halves.

Elsewhere, Dragons winger Zac Lomax and Roosters centre Joseph Suaalii are set for Origin debuts, while North Queensland’s Reece Robson is named at hooker ahead of Wests Tigers captain Api Koroisau.

For Queensland coach Billy Slater, the big question — besides who would partner Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves in Munster’s absence — was whether or not to pick Titans second-rower David Fifita.

Despite Fifita’s reputation as one of the most powerful ball-runners in rugby league, Slater instead opted for Jeremiah Nanai and Jaydn Su’A in the back row.

The Maroons have also handed an Origin debut to Eels prop J’maine Hopgood, who has played just 44 games of NRL footy.

There is no place in the starting 13 for the in-form Selwyn Cobbo, but the Broncos jet will line up on the bench as quality cover across the outside backs.

State of Origin 2024 team lists – Game 1

NSW Blues logo

New South Wales Blues

  1. Dylan Edwards (Panthers)
  2. Brian To’o (Panthers)
  3. Stephen Crichton (Bulldogs)
  4. Joseph Suaalii (Roosters)
  5. Zac Lomax (Dragons)
  6. Jarome Luai (Panthers)
  7. Nicho Hynes (Sharks)
  8. Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)
  9. Reece Robson (Cowboys)
  10. Payne Haas (Broncos)
  11. Liam Martin (Panthers)
  12. Angus Crichton (Roosters)
  13. Cameron McInnes (Sharks)
  14. Isaah Yeo (Panthers)
  15. Haumole Olakau’atu (Sea Eagles)
  16. Spencer Leniu (Roosters)
  17. Hudson Young (Raiders)
Queensland Maroons

Queensland Maroons

  1. Reece Walsh (Broncos)
  2. Xavier Coates (Storm)
  3. Valentine Holmes (Cowboys)
  4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Dolphins)
  5. Murray Taulagi (Cowboys)
  6. Tom Dearden (Cowboys)
  7. Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
  8. Reuben Cotter (Cowboys)
  9. Ben Hunt (Dragons)
  10. Lindsay Collins (Roosters)
  11. Jaydn Su’A (Dragons)
  12. Jeremiah Nanai (Cowboys)
  13. Patrick Carrigan (Broncos)
  14. Harry Grant (Storm)
  15. Moeaki Fotuaika (Titans)
  16. J’maine Hopgood (Eels)
  17. Selwyn Cobbo (Broncos)

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