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When New South Wales was defeated in the first State of Origin match in 1980, the side wearing the sky blue at Lang Park included Steve Edge as number 12 and Michael Cronin landing two from three goals.

In the next three decades they were joined in Origin folklore by Ray Price, Brett Kenny, Eric Grothe and Eric Grothe Junior, Peter Sterling, Steve Ella, Peter Wynn, Michael Vella, and Nathan Hindmarsh.

And tonight at ANZ Stadium, Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne makes his seventeenth appearance for the New South Wales Blues against the most dominant generation of Maroons in Origin history.

With only two appearances in the sky blue fullback jersey, Hayne will be looking for his first win from the NSW custodian's position.

And even more so, New South Wales fans are hungry to break the seven year drought and reclaim the Origin shield.

The Maroons boast the most intimidating spine in representative footy with captain Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, and an apparently recovered - from a 'mystery virus' - Johnathan Thurston.

Meanwhile the Blues' strength sits firmly in their forward pack, on the shoulders of James Tamou and the tireless Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis, Ryan Hoffman, Greg Bird and Robbie Farah.

All six are familiar with the Kangaroos jersey, while bolters Andrew Fifita and Josh Reynolds will sit alongside veteran Anthony Watmough and relative newcomer Trent Merrin on the bench.

And while Queensland's line-up is almost identical to 2012, the Blues will be placing their faith in the combination of Farah, Hayne, Mitchell Pearce and debutant James Maloney to spark the New South Wales attack.

Parramatta Eels coach Ricky Stuart brought the Blues within one heartbreaking field goal of victory last year, and his successor Laurie Daley will attempt to better the effort in 2013.

Aside from his high-profile decision to add Josh Reynolds rather than John Sutton to the bench, Daley's preparation has been relatively low-key, but Sydney has picked up the slack, with Blues fans rushing to buy tickets to the series opener, and the Vivid Festival organisers even helping to turn the Sydney Harbour Bridge blue.

The Parramatta Eels will be at the match to update our fans on every play, and to support Jarryd as he looks to topple the mighty Maroons.

Up the Blues!

VB New South Wales Blues:

Jarryd Hayne

Brett Morris

Michael Jennings

Josh Morris

Blake Ferguson

James Maloney

Mitchell Pearce

Paul Gallen (c)

Robbie Farah

James Tamou

Ryan Hoffman

Luke Lewis

Greg Bird


Anthony Watmough

Andrew Fifita

Trent Merrin

Josh Reynolds

XXXX Queensland Maroons

Billy Slater

Darius Boyd

Greg Inglis

Justin Hodges

Brent Tate

Johnathan Thurston

Cooper Cronk

Matt Scott

Cameron Smith (c)

David Shillington

Nate Myles

Sam Thaiday

Ashley Harrison


Corey Parker

Matt Gillett

Ben Teo

Chris McQueen
Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels 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.

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