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Wighton starts at centre as Blues confirm lineup for Game One

Jack Wighton will start at left centre for New South Wales while Kotoni Staggs will make his debut at right centre as part of a new-look backline for Game One of the 2022 Ampol State of Origin series.

Blues Coach Brad Fittler confirmed the news on Monday morning as the 22-man extended squad begun their first day of camp in Coogee.

Wighton's selection in the starting side will see Panthers centre Stephen Crichton make his Origin debut off the bench alongside another debutant in Eels forward Ryan Matterson. Matterson was previously 18th Man for the Blues during their successful 2019 campaign but has been named on the bench alongside Eels teammate Reagan Campbell-Gillard, who will play his first Origin game since 2018.

Cameron Murray and Tariq Sims will start in the back row with Isaah Yeo at lock; Payne Haas and Junior Paulo named at prop with Damien Cook at hooker.

Nicho Hynes on his State of Origin call up

Nicho Hynes will feature as 18th Man with Tyson Frizell dropping to 19th Man.

Jacob Saifiti, Joseph Suaalii and Apisai Koroisau will feature as reserves.

Blues team for Game One

  1. James Tedesco, capt. (Sydney Roosters)
  2. Brian To’o (Penrith Panthers)
  3. Kotoni Staggs (Brisbane Broncos)
  4. Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders)
  5. Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters)
  6. Jarome Luai (Penrith Panthers)
  7. Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)
  8. Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos)
  9. Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
  10. Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eels)
  11. Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
  12. Tariq Sims (St. George-Illawarra Dragons)
  13. Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers)
  14. Stephen Crichton (Penrith Panthers)
  15. Liam Martin (Penrith Panthers)
  16. Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Parramatta Eels)
  17. Ryan Matterson (Parramatta Eels)
  18. Nicho Hynes (Cronulla Sharks)
  19. Tyson Frizell (Newcastle Knights)
  20. Jacob Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)
  21. Joseph Suaalii (Sydney Roosters)
  22. Apisai Koroisau (Penrith Panthers)

Coach: Brad Fittler

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Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.