State of Origin Game 1 live updates: Queensland stars exposed as ‘frauds’, team news, what time does game start

Welcome to news.com.au’s live coverage of State of Origin Game 1 from Accord Stadium, Sydney.

NSW enters a new era under coach Michael Maguire after a six-year reign under Brad Fittler and the Blues are keen to start with a home win.

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Maguire has fielded five debutants – Joseph Sua’ali’i, Zac Lomax, Cameron McInnes, Spencer Leniu and Haumole Olakau’atu, with Nicho Hynes and Jarome Luai in the halves.

The Blues will be without the injured Nathan Cleary, while Queensland will be without Cameron Munster and a handful of first-choice forwards.

Queensland have won the last two series and are aiming for a series hat-trick to maintain coach Billy Slater’s perfect record as Maroons coach. NSW have not won an Origin series since 2021.

Kick-off is scheduled for 8:05pm AEST. Follow below for live updates.

5.05 million – Queenslander exposed as fraudster

The age-old belief that Queensland recruits half its squad from outside the Sunshine State actually has some truth to it this year.

The Daily Telegraph reports that eight members of Queensland’s 20-man squad – or 40 percent – were born outside Queensland.

Winger Xavier Coates was born in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Murray Taulagi grew up in South Auckland, Jaydn Su’A was born in Christchurch, Ezra Mam was born in Newcastle, Jeremiah Nanai is from Henderson in Auckland, Moeaki Fotuaika is from Gisborne on the North Island of New Zealand, 19th man Brendan Piakura was born near Newcastle and Felise Kaufusi was born in Auckland.

Dean Ritchie of the Daily Telegraph wrote: “What a bunch of hypocritical fraudsters.

“Come on, Madge, destroy these imposters – for the good of humanity.”

State of Origin eligibility requirements state that a player must be born in NSW or Queensland or have moved there before their 13th birthday to represent their chosen state.

Under current rules, a player is not allowed to play for New South Wales or Queensland if he plays for a Tier 1 nation other than Australia.

16:15 – Commentator icon ends rumor

Ray Warren is happily retired and wants everyone to know that he will not be making a comeback in the commentary booth.

The Channel 9 icon, who became known as the “Voice of Rugby League”, has hung up her microphone after the 2021 NRL season.

He commentated on 99 State of Origin games during his career, but the man known as ‘Rabs’ has denied rumours of a comeback to reach the century.

The 80-year-old told Gold Coast’s 92.5 Triple M Gold with Flan, Ali & Spida: “This is an absolute rumor!”

“I never said I was OK with making another Origin game and someone took the liberty of completely misquoting me on social media and that made things a little awkward for me.

“I get very annoyed by people who write absolute rubbish.”

When asked if he would make a comeback, Warren said: “No, I would rule that out almost without thinking about it.

“I’ve had a great career, 55 years. At the end of 2021, I decided that this is my goal.

“Why should I risk undoing any good I may have done?

“I got out when I was feeling reasonably well.”

From the 2022 season, Mathew Thompson will take over as Nine’s chief NRL caller.

4:00 p.m. – Blues cancel matchday tradition

The Blues have closed the doors and decided to cancel their matchday media engagements.

Michael Maguire and Billy Slater spoke to reporters on Tuesday, but the Blues canceled their only media opportunity on Wednesday, which normally features an assistant coach.

Rugby league reporter Danny Weidler wrote on X: “The Blues put their game face on early – they cancelled their only media opportunity. Their assistant coach will not speak to the media on match day. Michael Maguire is serious.”

Maroons assistant coach Josh Hannay addressed the media on Tuesday and said his players would “die for the jerseys and for the state” when they line up for the opening Origin match.

“I know those are strong words, but that’s literally how our boys think when they represent the people of Queensland,” Hannay said.

“Our connection to the state is our superpower. We play for our people and we will play for our people again tonight.”

3.30 p.m. – Legend heats up battle of the benches

When Origin games are not decided by the halves or forwards, the battle on the bench usually plays a big role too.

The different approaches to exchange met with great interest.

Queensland have named hooker Harry Grant and winger/centre Selwyn Cobbo, as well as forwards J’maine Hopgood and Moeaki Fotuaika.

The Blues had four strikers on the bench – Isaah Yeo, Spencer Leniu, Hudson Young and Haumole Olakau’atu.

Maguire said on Tuesday that 18th man Matt Burton would not be included in the squad, while Slater said he would wait until the last minute to name his final team.

Paul Vautin criticised the decision to bench Cobbo, but fellow Queenslander Corey Parker was annoyed at the suggestion that the Broncos running back might not take to the field.

“I have no concerns at all about Selwyn Cobbo starting the game as a substitute,” Parker told SEN.

“There have been some pretty high-profile people who have questioned (Cobbo’s selection) … but in my personal opinion, it doesn’t worry me at all.

“It provides security in the back line. If there is an injury, it would be no big deal… let’s just assume everything will be OK. Some people are saying that Selwyn Cobbo might not even play, but that’s nonsense.”

“You can’t play an Origin match with only 16 players, Cobbo will 100 percent come along.”

Meanwhile, Raiders striker Hudson Young has agreed to take on an all-round role as a substitute for NSW.

“It’s like any team – you can’t pick a player for every position,” Young said.

“This is something I did in Canberra and something I could do every week.

“For me, it’s nothing new to have to move a few positions. We’re preparing pretty well for that at the club.”

“The way the game is (now) there’s always someone who gets 10 in the basket or HIAs. We don’t have a back in Canberra.

“(Maguire) has spoken to me about some options. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t lose anyone.”

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