Interesting to note the following glaring omissions, Brett Kimmorley who has been in sparkling form and has plenty of experience, the same for Trent Barrett. Braith Anasta didn’t get a look in and neither did Nathan Hindmarsh.
The other shocker was the ommission of Wade McKinnon, with Brett Stewart injured the NZ Warriors fullback allows Gidley to play from the bench – McKinnon would be hard pressed to do much more, the guy scores tries from anywhere, is rock solid tough and reads the game defensively well.
The NRL News Grubber adds his comments to the selections below –
Game 1 takes place on Wednesday, June, 3 in Melbourne.
The NSW preliminary squad is:
Luke Bailey (Titans), was always going to get a look in, few props are in his league.
Colin Best (Rabbitohs), form forced him to be picked, can score tries but defence might be a worry.
Terry Campese (Raiders), has been consistently good for a long time now, strong and skillful, should be ready.
Matt Cooper (Dragons), best centre NSW has to offer. Shoe in.
Ben Creagh (Dragons), been knocking on the door for a while, hard worker and very tough. Would go OK.
Ben Cross (Knights), form hasn’t been great at the Knights, might find it tough to get into the final squad.
Michael Ennis (Bulldogs), must be picked. Playing top shelf and made for Origin.
Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), playing well, Tigers need to keep winning to help his chances.
Paul Gallen (Sharks), another played made for Origin. If fit, he needs to be there. Tough customer.
Keith Galloway (Wests Tigers), his form has screamed out to selectors for a long time. Give him a shot.
Kurt Gidley (Knights). must be used as a utility, don’t play him at pivot. Can add more from the bench.
Jarryd Hayne (Eels), probably lucky to get a shot in this squad. Has the talent, needs more focus.
Ryan Hoffman (Storm), not in his best form, playing a little frustrated. Might miss out.
Michael Jennings (Panthers), the boom rookie is a try scoring machine. Needs a place, he will pour on points.
Brent Kite (Sea Eagles), another forward out of sorts, probably not ideally suited to Origin. Might miss out.
Anthony Laffranchi (Titans), hard worker who can score a try, facing tougher competition this year.
Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers), form is running hot and his defence has been high quality. Could push for a spot.
Luke Lewis (Panthers), won’t get a chance this year. Playing out of position and probably past his peak.
Jamie Lyon (Sea Eagles), don’t pick him. Shows no pride in the NSW jersey, so don’t let him near it.
James McManus (Knights), a roughie, but don’t discount him. Very tough and rarely makes an error.
Mark Minichiello (Titans), another long shot, but has a good firey mould that would suit Origin.
Joel Monaghan (Raiders), should be short odds to get a wing or centre spot.
Josh Morris (Bulldogs), injury has cruelled his chances of a bolter spot. Playing top footy.
Jarrod Mullen (Knights). faces plenty of competition, needs to keep winning.
Luke O’Donnell (Cowboys), another guy made for Origin. Fire him up and get him on the field.
Mitchell Pearce (Roosters), Roosters are struggling and this will hurt his chances.
Josh Perry (Sea Eagles), could be a bolter, has a tough nature and won’t shy from tough stuff.
Justin Poore (Dragons), rising star, but probably a year too early for the big man.
Anthony Quinn (Storm), will be in the mix for flank spots, Bellamy likes him and this will help.
Michael Robertson (Sea Eagles). can score tries, but probably a concern in defence.
Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles), injury looks to have ruined his chance.
Glenn Stewart (Sea Eagles), success last year has help him grow. Tough, hard worker – in with a shot.
John Sutton (Rabbitohs), recent poor form by the Bunnies is hurting Sutton. Might be overawed by things.
Alan Tongue (Raiders), hard worker and defensively sound. Probably too much competition to get a shot.
Anthony Tupou (Sharks), has had chances before, but never really shined. Toup’s won’t make it.
Peter Wallace (Broncos), played very well when given the chance. Right in the mix, ahead of Mullen but Noddy growing.
Trent Waterhouse (Panthers), the former star is a little inconsistent these days. Won’t make the final cut.
Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles), diamonds or stones this guy. Probably too inconsistent to be given a shot.
Michael Weyman (Dragons), a must pick. Built for Origin and will really dominate in the forwards. Physical giant.
David Williams (Sea Eagles). had a bad run with injury that will kill off his chances in 2009.