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Monday, 6 May 2019

Who can the QLD Maroons pick out wide in Origin 1? Here's the list

Eligible Players for Queensland in 2019
2019 State of Origin Series
By W D Nicolson - May 6, 2019

First up, apologies for the lack of Rugby League content on so far this season, outside of a few Podcasts this site unfortunately just hasn't been a priority. So to all those loyal people who tuned in for the last decade plus for The Postman's Tips (and for The Postman's original Late Mail - yes we understood the value of the content long ago) - I'm sorry that they didn't continue to be posted in 2019. The season just snuck up on us and I wasn't able to do tipping coverage justice so it was left behind... mind you I'm still tipping and so far this year am 43 from 64 at 67.2% so that isn't terrible.

Anyhoo, you are here for the QLD Origin Eligible Players List and some actual Rugby League content so let's get to it.
Surprisingly the QRL have made this list an open book (well until they need someone from Samoa or Tonga or Fiji etc) and listed all their eligible players here - what I'll break down for you today below is who is actually available for the key spots in the QLD three-quarter line.

The reason this group is interesting is that with Valentine Holmes going to the USA and first Billy Slater, and now Greg Inglis retiring - QLD have a serious shortage of quality depth options in the outside backs with those three absent.

Corey Oates came in for Game 3 last year (after being a star at the Origin level in 2016, then getting punted when QLD got smashed in Game 1 2017) and he will definitely fill one spot.

Will Chambers and Dane Gagai are also incumbents from Game 3 and will get the call for Game 1 this year but with GI retired and Holmes gone, there is still one spot in the three-quarter line that is wide open.

But whether the open spot is at centre or wing comes down to what QLD Coach Kevin Walters wants to do with Gagai.

Now Gagai has been playing centre for Souths most of the year with GI missing but he's been great for QLD on their wing, so if you decide he's better value for QLD on the wing then who does QLD pick at centre?

If you take away Chambers , Gagai, Oates and assume Kalyn Ponga is at fullback to replace Slater this is the list provided by the QRL who are eligible for the centres:

Matt Gillett - Brisbane (Playing 2nd Row)
David Fifita - Brisbane (Playing 2nd Row)
Gehamat Shibasaki - Brisbane (In QLD Cup)
Kurt Capewell - Cronulla (Playing 2nd Row)
Brenko Lee - Gold Coast (In QLD Cup)
Dale Copley - Gold Coast (Injured)
Philip Sami - Gold Coast (Injured)
Brendan Elliot - Manly
Marion Seve - Melbourne
Tautau Moga - Newcastle (Injured)
Edrick Lee - Newcastle
Kurt Mann - Newcastle
Hymel Hunt - Newcastle
Michael Morgan - North Queensland
Gavin Cooper - North Queensland (Playing 2nd Row)
Coen Hess - North Queensland (Playing 2nd Row)
Javid Bowen - North Queensland (In QLD Cup)
Justin O'Neill - North Queensland
Ben Hampton - North Queensland
Enari Tuala - North Queensland
Tom Opacic - North Queensland
Moses Mbye - Wests Tigers (Playing Fullback)

And if you just look at pure wingers if you moved Gagai to centre the list has the following players added to it:

Ronaldo Mulitalo - Cronulla (In NSW Cup)
Kyle Feldt - North Queensland (Injured)
Gideon Gela-Mosby - North Queensland (In QLD Cup)
Nene Macdonald - North Queensland (Injured)
Corey Allan - South Sydney
Jonus Pearson - St George Illawarra (In NSW Cup)
Lachlan Maranta - St George Illawarra (In NSW Cup)
Corey Thompson - Wests Tigers

It's not exactly an embarrassment of riches like we are used to looking for outside backs in Queensland.

Macdonald and Feldt if fit probably would have been fighting it out for the open spot with Gagai moving into the centres, but Macdonald is done for the year with a serious leg injury and Feldt hasn't played a game yet due to a groin problem.

So the way I see it QLD have two directions they can go.

Play Gagai at centre and go with Edrick Lee, Justin O'Neill or (if he's fit very shortly) Kyle Feldt on the wing.


Leave Gagai on the wing and play it 'safe' in the centres by picking an extra second rower to mark up on either Latrell Mitchell or James Roberts (who may get dropped this week by the Broncos... but expect Brad Fittler will pick him for NSW if he's fit and back in the top grade in a few weeks) in Matt Gillett or Gavin Cooper, or they could go really bold and pick a talent like David Fifita or even move Coen Hess wider.

There is another option if Daly Cherry-Evans is fit for Game 1 and that is to play Michael Morgan in the centres but I expect him to be at #7 with Ben Hunt on the bench (or at #9 if they go in another direction to Andrew McCullough*).

So QLD are going to go from leaving Corey Oates out of their Origin team to having to pick either Edrick Lee or Justin O'Neill on the wing... or one of Gillett/Cooper in the centres. 

Talk about a change in fortune at the selection table!
Now I will reveal the QLD team I believe Kevin Walters will pick on the next NOT The Footy Show Podcast with Robb Cox (aiming for a mid-week record), and we will both pick our NSW sides as well.

But right now - Edrick Lee and Justin O'Neill are on the verge of a QLD debut and QLD recall - something realistically neither would have believed was a chance 12 months ago.
Now watch either of them get picked and play out of their skins - because that's the beauty of Origin, once you are there you can make a difference as we're talking about one game at a time here, not a long season. 

And good luck to them if they get picked; O'Neill in particular has made the most of his recall to first grade this season and was an Australian starting centre as recently as 2016 when he also played all three games for QLD. As for Lee, he was 18th man way back in 2015 when he was still at the Raiders and has since gone onto a stint with the Sharks and only landed at Newcastle this year.

So what combo would you go with in Game 1 QLD fans?

Ponga, Oates, Chambers, Gagai, Lee/O'Neill
Ponga, Oates, Chambers, Gillett/Cooper, Gagai

Or have we missed an option entirely?

*PS. News just in at lunchtime today (Monday May 6) has Andrew McCullough going down at Brisbane training with a knee injury, so Ben Hunt looks odds on to get the hooking role for QLD should McCullough be out for any length of time. So that means Morgan is firming for the #7 and wouldn't be picked in the centres.

Remember you can see the full list of eligible QLDers on the QRL website here.

Let us know in the comments below or via @NRLTweet on Twitter

Thursday, 25 April 2019

NOT The Footy Show Episode 194: The Gus Gould Legacy at the Penrith | NRL Podcast

Stream the New Podcast.

Podcast: The Gus Gould Legacy at Penrith.

Join Robb Cox and Warrick Nicolson as they discuss Phil Gould's legacy at the Penrith Panthers after Gus announced he is leaving his post as GM of Football. 

We cover his 2011-19 tenure and look back at his time as Penrith coach from 1990-94.

What is next for Gus?

Plus the lads look at the NRL movers and shakers after Round 6 on Episode 194.

Check it out.

Please jump onto iTunes and give us a review or drop us a line on Social Media.

And please don't forget to subscribe.

Monday, 1 April 2019

NOT The Footy Show Episode 193: The John Bateman Appreciation Society | NRL Podcast

Stream the New Podcast.

Podcast: The John Bateman Appreciation Society.

Join Robb Cox and Warrick Nicolson as they catch up on the opening three rounds of the 2019 NRL Season in Episode 193.

We establish the John Bateman Appreciation Society, rank the worst heads of hair in the NRL right now and get the first instalment of 'In the Endzone with Coxsmith'.

Plus do you want Coxsmith and Waz in your house doing an Episode? You can make it happen!

Please jump onto iTunes and give us a review or drop us a line on Social Media.

And please don't forget to subscribe.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

NOT The Footy Show Episode 192: 10 Predictions for the 2019 NRL Season | Podcast

Stream the New Podcast.

Podcast: 10 Predictions for the 2019 NRL Season.

Join Robb Cox and Warrick Nicolson as they throw out ten predictions for the upcoming premiership season...

Ray Warren's calling future, the Warriors without Shaun Johnson, Parramatta's chances, Canberra need a halfback and the Cowboys and Knights are on their way up the ladder.

Plus the debut of Nate Rates!

Please jump onto iTunes and give us a review or drop us a line on Social Media.

And don't forget to subscribe.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

NOT The Footy Show Episode 191: Easts 21 Melbourne 6 Grand Final Review | NRL Podcast

The Eastern Suburbs Roosters are NRL Premiers for 2018!

Join Robb Cox and Warrick Nicolson as they review the decider in detail after the Chooks dominated the Storm to the tune of 21-6 in front of a packed house at ANZ Stadium.

From Cronk's bravery to Munster's stupidity - our review podcast has got you covered.

Please jump onto iTunes and give us a review or drop us a line on social to let us know you listened and didn't hate it.

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Twitter: @NRLTweet

Saturday, 29 September 2018

NOT The Footy Show Episode 190: The Pat Richards Variety Hour + 2018 Grand Final Preview | NRL Podcast

Pat Richards joins Robb Cox and Warrick Nicolson to preview the 2018 NRL Grand Final - Sydney Roosters v Melbourne Storm - and then Coxsmith and Pat proceed to take over the show! 

Welcome to the Pat Richards Variety Hour. 

Plus we rate the best Grand Final winning tries since 1980 and recap the Grand Final Trivia Night attended by Michael Pobjie's Love Children.

Please jump onto iTunes and give us a review or drop us a line on social to let us know you listened and didn't hate it.

Follow NOT The Footy Show on 
Twitter: @NRLTweet