Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds have been named to replace Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney in the 2014 New South Wales squad for the opening game of the 2014 State Of Origin Series at Suncorp Stadium next weekend.
Both Pearce and Maloney have struggled for form in the struggling Sydney Roosters side this season and Pearce did his State Of Origin chances no favors when he was arrested after a big night out a Kings Cross last weekend.
New South Wales coach Laurie Daley said that he took into account a number of factors before naming Hodkinson and Reynolds as the halves for the New South Wales side, but admitted that Pearce’s off-field problems had played a part in his decision.
“I think that we took everything into consideration,” Daley told the press after the team was announced.
“I spoke to Mitch a number of times before I made the decision and after speaking to him I knew that the right decision was to leave him out for game one.
“I think that everyone is desperate to play and he has made an error and he knows what he has to do and I know that he will bounce back.
“To go back to the Roosters and play a couple of good games for them is in his best interest and we will see what happens.
“That is not to say that he won’t play any further part in the Series, but with Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds playing extremely well in the team that is leading the competition, I thought that it was important that we had that combination there.”
Sydney Roosters winger Daniel Tupou has been named to make his State Of Origin debut, while Daley has recalled Tony Williams and Beau Scott to the side after they missed last year’s series due to lack of form.
“T-Rex gives us certainly great impact off the interchange bench,” Daley said.
“He plays great minutes at the Bulldogs and we are probably not looking to play him in that sort of role.
“If we look back to when he had his one and only State Of Origin game he was pretty damaging and I think that he is playing better football now to what he ever has.
“Beauy brings that toughness to any team and I think that guys really like playing with,
“He is an experienced guy who won’t be intimidated at all.”
New South Wales are currently available at State Of Origin odds of $2.85 to win the opening game at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday May 28 and are priced at $2.60 to win their first State Of Origin Series in nine years.
2014 New South Wales State Of Origin Game 1 Team
1. Jarryd Hayne
2. Brett Morris
3. Josh Morris
4. Michael Jennings
5. Daniel Tupou
6. Josh Reynolds
7. Trent Hodkinson
8. Aaron Woods
9. Robbie Farah
10. James Tamou
11. Ryan Hoffman
12. Beau Scott
13. Paul Gallen
14. Anthony Watmough
15. Tony Williams
16. Trent Merrin
17. Luke Lewis