Jaydn Su’A, representing the South Sydney Rabbitohs, could line up with several rugby league stars, including Jai Arrow of the Gold Coast Titans, Edrick Lee from the Newcastle Knights, Valentine Holmes of the North Queensland Cowboys and others for the three-match clash against New South Wales.
The Queensland collective also comprises a string of Melbourne Storm stars, most notably the talented Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Brenko Lee, Christian Welch, Felise Kaufusi and Cameron Munster. The dynamic Harry Grant, who had been on loan at the Wests Tigers, is also in there.
They’ll be up against a power-packed NSW squad, which includes Storm trio Ryan Papenhuyzen, Josh Addo-Carr and Dale Finucane – as well as Penrith Panthers quartet Isaah Yeo, Jarome Luai, Nathan Cleary and Stephen Crichton and. The squad also has several Sydney Roosters and Parramatta Eels performers.
The Storm and Panthers, of course, contested the recent NRL Grand Final. Melbourne was triumphant on the day. As to who will be victorious in the State of Origin affair, established brands like bet365 have some solid odds on the matches. They have Queensland priced at around 3/1 for overall victory, while NSW is offered as the favourites at 1/4.
Su’A, meanwhile, is benefitting from the tutelage of renowned coach Sam Burgess. The 23-year-old South Sydney forward’s gameplay and tactics have arguably improved since starting this working relationship with Burgess.
“I get coached by Sammy now and they all tell me the respect he had within the group and that he was always out there to make a difference. That is something I am big on,” he told NRL.com.
“He obviously played for Brisbane, Souths and Queensland and if I play for Queensland it will be special. Just having coffee with him and hearing his story and the advice he gave us was awesome. If I was able to replicate half the stuff he did in his career I’d be very happy.”
Former Maroons Star Steve Renouf is among several rugby league personalities to publicly note the underdog status of Queensland for the 2020 State of Origin series.
While it’s unlikely they will whitewash New South Wales, Renouf reckons they could set an early precedent.
The Maroons coaching team of Wayne Bennett, Mal Meninga and Neil Henry will get the boys up for game one. Yes, they are inexperienced as a squad, but on this occasion, the Maroons are true underdogs, and I think that will work in their favour like it did in 1995 and 2001. Queensland by four,” he told NRL.com.
Blues: Josh Addo-Carr (Storm), Dale Finucane (Storm), Ryan Papenhuyzen (Storm), Nathan Cleary (Panthers), Stephen Crichton (Panthers), Jarome Luai (Panthers), Isaah Yeo (Panthers), Payne Haas (Brisbane), Tyson Frizell (Dragons), Zac Lomax (Dragons), Cameron McInnes (Dragons), Nathan Brown (Parramatta), Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Parramatta), Clint Gutherson (Parramatta), Junior Paulo (Parramatta), Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle), Damien Cook (Souths), Cameron Murray (Souths), Cody Walker (Souths), Nick Cotric (Canberra), Jack Wighton (Canberra), Boyd Cordner (Roosters), Angus Crichton (Roosters), Luke Keary (Roosters), James Tedesco (Roosters), Daniel Tupou (Roosters), Jack Trbojevic (Manly).
Maroons: Cameron Munster (Storm), Felise Kaufusi (Storm), Brenko Lee (Storm), Christian Welch (Storm), Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Storm), Kurt Capewell (Panthers), Jai Arrow (Gold Coast Titans), AJ Brimson (Gold Coast Titans), Moeaki Fotuaika (Gold Coast Titans), Phillip Sami (Gold Coast Titans), Edrick Lee (Newcastle Knights), Hymel Hunt (Newcastle Knights), Valentine Holmes (North Queensland Cowboys), Coen Hess (North Queensland Cowboys), Xavier Coates (Brisbane Broncos), Patrick Carrigan (Brisbane Broncos), Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons), Josh Kerr (St George Illawarra Dragons), Harry Grant (Wests Tigers/Melbourne Storm), Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Sea Eagles), Jake Friend (Sydney Roosters), Lindsay Collins (Sydney Roosters), Dunamis Lui (Canberra Raiders), Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders), Corey Allan (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Dane Gagai (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Jaydn Su’A (South Sydney Rabbitohs).