Brace yourself for State of Origin 2018 Game 1 tonight – here’s what you need to know…
Both the Maroons and the Blues go into this year’s three-game series with some big changes compared to last year – New South Wales will field 11 ‘debutantes’, while Queensland’s line-up is glaringly without the likes of legends Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.
The two sides will line up on neutral ground at the MCG tonight, Wednesday 6 June.
It’s the fifth time an Origin game has taken place at the MCG with NSW winning the past encounter 26-18 and taking their advantage at the ground to 3-1.
The mighty Maroons go into tonight’s clash as the underdogs, with the bookies giving them the longest odds in a long time – Ladbrokes had them at $3 late today and NSW at $1.42. But NSW know the last thing they should do is underestimate the boys from north of the border.
Origin’s leading try scorer Greg Inglis has been handed the Maroons’ captaincy and will look to lead them into a new phase.
Games and scheduled starting times (we know it never starts at the ‘official’ time)…
• Origin I: 8pm (AEST) on Wednesday June 6, MCG
• Origin II: 7.40pm on Sunday June 24, ANZ Stadium
• Origin III: 8pm on Wednesday July 11, Suncorp Stadium
How Origin 2017 unfolded…
• Origin I: NSW Blues 28 defeated QLD Maroons 4
• Origin II: QLD Maroons 18 defeated NSW Blues 16
• Origin III: QLD Maroons 22 defeated NSW Blues 6
The series win made it number 21 for the Maroons with the Blues sitting on 13 overall series wins. There have been two draws during the history of Origin.
Check out these great Origin moments…