The annual Rugby League State of Origin series between Queensland and New South Wales gets underway next week and American Rugby League fans will have access to the match live on Fox Sports Soccer.
Rated by many as the greatest Rugby League spectacle in the world, the three match series is sure to bring about the intensity, excitement, and breathtaking action synonymous with State of Origin.
American Rugby League fans should also sit up and take notice. The recent partnership between the AMNRL and Los Angeles Sport and Entertainment giant Grand Prix Rugby could see the popular Rugby League series (held annually in Australia) return to foreign shores in the future. The one and only State of Origin match between Queensland and New South Wales played in America took part in 1987 in Long Beach, California.
New South Wales named their squad earlier in the week and it included a number of surprise selections. Among them were debutants Jamie Buhrer, James Tamou, and Tony Williams.
Classy five-eighth Todd Carney finally gets his opportunity in a blues jumper. The Sharks playmaker will reunite in the halves with former teammate and current Sydney City Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce.
Center Michael Jennings can also consider himself lucky to be selected. The out of form Penrith flyer becomes the first player in nearly 30 years to be selected from what is considered to be the equivalent of a Major Baseball League’s “farm team”.
Queensland selectors have included only the one debutant for the May 23rd encounter. Matt Gillett who has been in sensational form for the Brisbane Broncos comes into the squad.
Warhorse front rower Petero Civoniceva has been selected for what is certain to be his final series in the maroon jersey, having announced his retirement at season’s end.
State of Origin has a rich Rugby League encounter dating back to its formation in 1980. Since its inception, Queensland has 17 series wins to New South Wales’ 12. The Blues will be looking to turn the tables this year as they look to regain the shield for the first time since 2005.
The clash will take place on Wednesday May 23rd and will be aired live on Fox Soccer Channel at 5:30am EST/2:30am PST
NEW SOUTH WALES
GREG BIRD - Gold Coast Titans
JAMIE BUHRER - Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
TODD CARNEY - Cronulla Sharks
BEN CREAH - St George-Illawarra Dragons
ROBBIE FARAH - Wests Tigers
PAUL GALLEN (c) - Cronulla Sharks
JARRYD HAYNE - Parramatta Eels
MICHAEL JENNINGS - Penrith Panthers
LUKE LEWIS - Penrith Panthers
TRENT MERRIN - St George-Illawarra Dragons
JOSH MORRIS - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
MITCHELL PEARCE - Sydney Roosters
BRETT STEWART - Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
GLENN STEWART - Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
JAMES TAMOU - North Queensland Cowboys
AKUILA UATE - Newcastle Knights
TONY WILLIAMS - Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
COACH: RICKY STUART
BILLY SLATER - Melbourne Storm
DARIUS BOYD - Newcastle Knights
GREG INGLIS - South Sydney Rabbitohs
JUSTIN Hodges - Brisbane Broncos
BRENT Tate - North Queensland Cowboys
JOHNATHAN THURSTON - North Queensland Cowboys
COOPER CRONK - Melbourne Storm
MATTHEW SCOTT - North Queensland Cowboys
CAMERON SMITH (C) - Melbourne Storm
PETERO CIVONICEVA - Brisbane Broncos
NATE MYLES - Gold Coast Titans
SAM THAIDAY - Brisbane Broncos
ASHLEY HARRISON - Gold Coast Titans
MATT GILLETT - Brisbane Broncos
DAVID TAYLOR - South Sydney Rabbitohs
BEN HANNANT - Brisbane Broncos
DAVID SHILLINGTON - Canberra Raiders
DALY CHERRY-EVANS - Manly Sea Eagles
DANE NIELSEN - Melbourne Storm
COACH: MAL MENINGA