Former State of Origin player Ben Ikin has named nine debutants on the Queensland team that he would select for the first game of this year’s series.
Ikin – now host of the Fox League at NRL 360 – was the youngest Origin player ever when he made his debut in 1995 at just 18 years old.
And he’s clearly a youth fan himself, choosing Broncos teen Xavier Coates on the wing of his ideal Maroons team (see below).
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He gave Coates the nod in front of Edrick Lee and Phillip Sami while putting Dane Gagai in the spotlight, despite being an Origin star on the wing in the past.Valentine Holmes is not available for the first game due to a suspension. With injuries like Kalyn Ponga and Kyle Feldt out, there are plenty of backline spots available.
The nine debutants at Ikin’s side are AJ Brimson, Coates, Brenko Lee, Corey Allan, Jake Friend, Jaydn Su’a, Tino Fa’asuamalaeaui, Lindsay Collins and Dunamis Lui.
Freund wins the race for the whore role ahead of young shooter Harry Grant and reigning Ben Hunt, who was one of their best players in last year’s series.
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IKINS URSPRUNG I MAROONS
1. AJ Brimson
2. Xavier Coates
3. Gagai dates
4. Brenko Lee
5. Corey Allan
6. Cameron Munster
7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c)
8. Josh Papalii
9. Jake Friend
10. Christian Welch
11. Felise Kaufusi
12. Jaydn Su’a
13. Jai Arrow
14. Ben Hunt
15. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
16. Lindsay Collins
17. Dunamis Lui
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Cameron Munster (Sturm), Felise Kaufusi (Sturm), Brenko Lee (Sturm), Christian Welch (Sturm), Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Sturm), Kurt Capewell (Panther), 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)
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