The Storm are playing for nothing in the regular season, but Origin could really see their stars go into overdrive – with NSW bearing the brunt of their venom.
We look at the Queensland Origin side and see how it fares for 2010 – with the Maroons chasing a historic 5th consecutive Origin Series win. A quick glance at whos missing from recent times is interesting: Ben Hannant, Karmichael Hunt, Scott Prince, Dallas Johnson, Mick Crocker and Brent Tate all playing their part in recent years.
1. Billy Slater – As mentioned above, a key Storm player – will be even more passionate about this game. Rarely fails in Origin outings.
2. Darius Boyd – A cool head and a player that will help keep Queensland on the straight and narrow when things get tough.
3. Greg Inglis – Worlds best League player. Big, fast and a fend from hell. His clash with the likes of Coops, Tahu and Idris will bring crowds to their feet.
4. Willie Tonga – Improved form recently, but could prove a target in a backline where everyone else is an out and out star.
5. Israel Folau – Controversial choice given his upcoming defection from League, but will be a handful in the air for NSW. A top class player.
6. Darren Lockyer – His assists in attack are still world class, but Locky is a yard shorter in terms of pace and will be targetted big time in defence.
7. Jonathan Thurston – Has been plauged by injury and hasn’t been in top form. Scott Prince may have been a better option here.
8. Matt Scott – Has been on the rise in recent times, has plenty of size. Fitness the only worry for him given the speed of the Origin game. Certainly a player of the Maroons future.
9. Cam Smith – Named despite elbow problems. Even 50 percent fit – a genuine match-winner. Won’t let anyone down.
10. Petero Civoniceva – The veteran knows all about Origin and will again be a frustration to NSW forwards. Tough and durable, had to be chosen despite age.
11. Nate Myles – Reborn under Brian Smith, at his peak fitness it seems. Another workhorse, designed for Origin. Good choice.
12. Sam Thaiday – Big, strong running backrower. Will terrorise NSW. Hands are sometimes a concern for big Sammy – but was always going to be in this side.
13. Ashley Harisson – The experienced forward was a surprise choice – he will be another target for NSW. Some perceive Harisson as a soft touch, will have his work cut out.
14. Cooper Cronk – A smart utility sub choice. Cronk will be ideal in this role.
15. David Shillington – Continues his meteroic rise in League stakes, needs to make a statement.
16. Neville Costigan – A potential enforcer, but was found out by Eric Grothe in recent times. Should be right on the night, will be called upon when things get ugly.
17. David Taylor – Ideal choice here, so much so – the injection of Taylor could swing the match the Maroons way.