Sunday, May 3

McDonald’s Park, Wagga Wagga

Kick-off: 4:00pm

Coverage: Live on Channel 9. ABC Radio, Triple M (SYD + BRIS) and 2GB.

 

The annual City-Country Origin fixture heads to Wagga Wagga this weekend with numerous State of Origin jerseys potentially on offer.

There will be three players from the NSW Origin side in Game III that will be fighting to keep their spot in James McManus, Daniel Tupou, and Josh Reynolds; while the eight NSW players that are wearing green and gold on Friday night may have already secured their places for Game I.

NSW Coach Laurie Daley will be sweating on the fitness of Paul Gallen, Brett Morris and Josh Morris, but this opens the door for players such as Tyson Frizell, Josh Jackson and Jack Wighton to push their claims on Sunday.

With Mitchell Pearce and Trent Hodkinson both watching on from the sidelines, their Club halves partners James Maloney and Reynolds are set to do battle in what is sure to be a crucial match-up.

City looks to have the edge up front, with former Australian Kangaroos Andrew Fifita and David Klemmer leading the charge. On the other side, Country have a strong rotation in the forwards with an interchange bench consisting of Paul Vaughan, Tariq Sims and Ryan James.

Both teams have plenty of strike power in their backlines, with a host of speedsters on show including James Roberts, James Tedesco, David Mead and Aku Uate. With speed to burn combined with skillful playmakers, this representative fixture shapes up to be an enthralling battle.

The Breakdown

HEAD-TO HEAD: Played 25 – City 13, Country 10, drawn 2

LAST FIVE:

2014 – Country Origin drew with City Origin 26-all in Dubbo

2013 – Country Origin 18 defeated City Origin 12 at Coffs Harbour

2012 – City Origin 24 defeated Country Origin 22 at Mudgee

2011 – Country Origin 28 defeated City Origin 12 at Albury

2010 – Country Origin 36 defeated City Origin 18 at Port Macquarie

Players to watch

Josh Jackson - Country

Jackson joined the rare group of players who have represented Australia before their State when he took the field during last year’s Four Nations tournament. Having missed selection in the side for the Trans-Tasman battle tomorrow night, Jackson will be out to impress for Country as he chases a sky-blue jumper.

James Maloney - Country

Dropped from the NSW Origin side along with Roosters teammate Mitchell Pearce for the 2014 State of Origin series, Maloney will lead out the Country side with his aspirations firmly set on a return to Laurie Daley’s side.

Josh Reynolds - City

The Incumbent number six has been put to work in this Origin rehearsal; however this may be due to the Canterbury-Bankstown representative having an injury-interrupted start to the season. Either way, look out for a big game from Reynolds on Sunday.

Matt Moylan - City

The departure of Jarryd Hayne leaves big shoes to fill and Matt Moylan could be the heir to the NSW fullback throne. The Penrith representative possesses great speed, agility and may be the x-factor that the Blues need if they are to retain the State of Origin shield this year.

Wests Tigers in action

Curtis Sironen (City) – Coming off the back of a full pre-season and playing in all eight matches so far this year, Sironen has earned a recall to the City Origin side in 2015. Sironen was a late call-up during the 2013 fixture in Coffs Harbour alongside fellow Club reps James Tedesco and Joel Reddy.

James Tedesco (City) – A late call-up to the City side for the second time in his career, Tedesco slots in on the wing following the withdrawal of South Sydney’s Dylan Walker. The former Italian International has an impeccable try-scoring record in the NRL, tallying up 22 in 36 games.

Teams

Country Origin

 

City Origin

David Mead

1

Matt Moylan

Aku Uate

2

James Tedesco

Jarrod Croker

3

James Roberts

Jack Wighton

4

Waqa Blake

James McManus

5

Daniel Tupou

James Maloney

6

Josh Reynolds

Jack Bird

7

Blake Austin

Dale Finucane

8

Andrew Fifita

Ryan Hinchcliffe

9

Nathan Peats

Kade Snowden

10

David Klemmer

Joel Thompson

11

Curtis Sironen

Tyson Frizzell

12

Wade Graham (c)

Josh Jackson

13

Tyrone Peachey

Mitch Rein

14

Joseph Paulo

Paul Vaughan

15

Reagan Campbell-Gillard

Tariq Sims

16

Kane Evans

Ryan James

17

Jason Clark

 

18

Bryce Cartwright