It’s State of Origin season; the best time of the year.
Those beautiful three nights where friendships don’t cross state borders and rugby league takes centre stage.
Queensland managed to secure the shield last year after a nail-biting series and one of the greatest contests in the sport’s history, but will they be able to back it up again? Well, a win in Game 1 certainly has the Maroons in the box seat.
The New South Wales coaching staff have made selection moves that provide evidence the pressure is getting the best of them. While this must-win clash is in Brisbane, not Vegas, the selectors are rolling the dice. So will it pay off?
State of Origin 2023 dates, venues and kick-off times
All three State of Origin games this year will be played on Wednesday nights, with the league axing the Sunday fixture it has trialled in previous years.
2023 ORIGIN FIXTURE
ORIGIN I: May 31, Adelaide Oval, South Australia, 7.30pm AEST
Result: 26-18, Queensland beat New South Wales
ORIGIN II: June 21, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland – 8:00pm AEST
ORIGIN III: July 12, Accor Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales 8:00pm AEST
Where can I get State of Origin tickets?
Tickets to all three State of Origin games are now on sale. Prices start at $49 for adults and $149 for families and are available via the NRL website.
Ever wonder about the origins of State of Origin? Well here’s how the great series kicked off
Where can I watch the 2023 State of Origin?
Nine Entertainment Co remains the official broadcast partner of the State of Origin, with all three games being streamed live, free and exclusively on Channel 9 and 9Now.
These three games and the NRL Grand Final remain the only matches exclusively telecast through Nine; every other top flight fixture can be watched through Fox League’s coverage also.
NSW Origin II Team:
Brad Fittler has named his squad for State of Origin II.
Here is how the side will line up:
- James Tedesco (Roosters) (C)
- Josh Addo-Carr (Bulldogs)
- Latrell Mitchell (Rabbitohs)
- Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)
- Brian To’o (Panthers)
- Jarome Luai (Panthers)
- Mitchell Moses (Eels)
- Junior Paulo (Eels)
- Damien Cook (Rabbitohs)
- Payne Haas (Broncos)
- Tyson Frizell (Knights)
- Hudson Young (Raiders)
- Isaah Yeo (Panthers)
- Stefano Utoikamanu (Tigers)
- Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs)
- Liam Martin (Panthers)
- Reece Robson (Cowboys)
- Stephen Crichton (Panthers)
- Keaon Koloamatangi (Rabbitohs)
Queensland Origin II Team:
Billy Slater has named his side for State of Origin game 2, with the Maroons making a couple of forced changes. Here it is:
- Reece Walsh (Broncos)
- Xavier Coates (Storm)
- Valentine Holmes (Cowboys)
- Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Dolphins)
- Murray Taulagi (Cowboys)
- Cameron Munster (Storm)
- Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles) (C)
- Lindsay Collins (Roosters)
- Ben Hunt (Dragons)
- Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Titans)
- David Fifita (Titans)
- Jeremiah Nanai (Cowboys)
- Patrick Carrigan (Broncos)
- Harry Grant (Storm)
- Thomas Flegler (Broncos)
- Reuben Cotter (Cowboys)
- Moeaki Fotuaika (Titans)
- AJ Brimson (Titans)
- Corey Horsburgh (Raiders)
Who’s going to win the State of Origin?
Well what we know is that Queensland are the short-priced favourites to win it from here.
Not only are they now just one win away, with Game 2 in their building, but the Maroons showed exactly why they’re the superior Origin operation in Game 1, showing more fight, resilience and spirit; all things that stem from the culture the squad has carefully crafted and fostered.
Once again, the Blues were favourites heading into the series. But the side executed far below its potential and looked unprepared. Now they face a must-win game without star half Nathan Cleary, who did his hamstring playing for the Panthers several days after Origin I.
Queensland, on the other hand, has a tonne of emerging young talent that balances out the trusty, reliable middle forwards they’ve had to lean on more recently. The Maroons have plenty of improvement in them as well. Frankly, they should never have allowed the Blues to get into a winning position in the series opener.
Queensland looks like a better prepared outfit under the coaching staff led by Billy Slater.
Ultimately, every Origin game is a tight, two-horse race. It means the Blues are very capable of causing an upset in Game 2. But the Maroons deserve the odds to be in their favour, off the back of the home boost, the superior culture and more organised coaching program. Queensland’s win probability deserves to be somewhere in the 60-65% range for the second game.
State of Origin 2023 sees the series return to Adelaide
In addition to the usual Sydney and Brisbane games, this year’s State of Origin competition will include a game played at Adelaide Oval — where the last game drew in a crowd of 25,000 spectators, despite South Australians infamously having no NRL teams and limited interest in the sport.
“When these two teams went into battle at Adelaide Oval in 2020, it was an absolute cracker of a game, with the Maroons just sneaking home in front of more than 25,000 fans, so we are very excited for the rematch,” Premier Peter Malinauskas said of the game.
“Adelaide Oval, and South Australia, always puts on a great show, and it will be terrific to welcome interstate fans to our city and have thousands of people exploring our restaurants, pubs and laneway bars and filling hotel rooms.”