CONFIRMED: Meet the 2016 Queensland Maroons line-up

NEW South Wales will have the benefit of two games in Sydney this year, but will it be enough to stop the Queensland juggernaut?

On paper, the Blues have a very steep task ahead of them this year.

There appears no immediate end in sight when looking at the Maroons' Origin dominance, after winning the past nine out of 10 series.

The Queenslanders are without champion veterans Billy Slater (shoulder) and Justin Hodges (retired), and consistent centre Will Chambers (foot) this year.

But all that means is Darius Boyd has shifted to his preferred position of fullback, where he has been in blazing-hot form for the Broncos in the NRL this year.

Debutant Corey Oates will play his first Origin and the big and powerful winger has nine tries for Brisbane so far this year.

Fellow first-gamer at this level - Justin O'Neill - will play at right centre and he has seven tries for the Cowboys so far in 2016.

And Dane Gagai is a super talent on the right wing - he's been one of the few shining lights in a disappointing Knights season.

Queensland's depth is phenomenal.

The Queensland Maroons' squad 1-17 is as follows …

DARIUS BOYD (Broncos - 23 Origins)

A mainstay of the champion Queensland backline since 2008 and an excellent choice at fullback.

Brings plenty of energy and is also very safe at the back.

A brilliant strike rate of 16 tries from 23 Origins, and having a fantastic year for the Broncos.


COREY OATES (Broncos - 0)

More than deserving of his Origin debut.

Only 21 but nothing seems to faze him.

Ranked third in the NRL for line-breaks with 13 and third for tries with nine, while averaging 130m a game.

 

GREG INGLIS (Rabbitohs - 27)

Back to his natural position at centre where he is devastating.

Been playing well for South Sydney as a left-side pivot and scored a classy try for Australia against New Zealand in the Anzac Test down that flank.

Oates is sure to benefit from playing outside a legend.
 

JUSTIN O'Neill looks to pass the ball during training when at the Melbourne Storm.
JUSTIN O'Neill looks to pass the ball during training when at the Melbourne Storm. Michael Dodge / Getty Images

JUSTIN O'NEILL (Cowboys - 0, pictured above)

Is ready for the Origin furnace.

Has over 100 games of NRL experience, and has struck up a very potent combination with Kyle Feldt at the Cowboys, with Feldt just missing out on a Maroons spot.
 

KNIGHTS weapon Dane Gagai is set to be unleashed for Queensland in Origin I next Wednesday. Picture: Dan Peled, AAP.
KNIGHTS weapon Dane Gagai is set to be unleashed for Queensland in Origin I next Wednesday. Picture: Dan Peled, AAP.

DANE GAGAI (Knights - 1, pictured above)

Been a shining light in a Newcastle team rooted to the bottom of the NRL ladder.

His blinding pace will make him a handful to contain.


JOHNATHAN THURSTON (Cowboys - 33)

Not much else you can say about this champion which has not already been said.

If Queensland finds itself down, Thurston is someone who can always ignite a signature comeback like he did for the Cowboys against the Broncos last Friday night.

Re-iterated how tough he is too, shrugging off a massive hit from Josh McGuire to kick the winning field goal on the very next play.

Will strike up a lethal combination with Inglis.


COOPER CRONK (Storm - 15)

The steadying influence in a backline full of fliers.

Does all the little things right, and has done so for years.

Loves the big pressure moments.


MATT SCOTT (Cowboys - 19)

Toughness and desire to do anything for his teammates has earned him 19 Maroons appearances.
 

MAROONS skipper Cameron Smith is set to break the record for most Origin appearances. Picture: Julian Smith, AAP.
MAROONS skipper Cameron Smith is set to break the record for most Origin appearances. Picture: Julian Smith, AAP.

CAMERON SMITH (Storm - 36. Captain, pictured)

Set to break legend Darren Lockyer's mark of 37 Origins and has been an integral part of Queensland's decade of dominance.

An iron man and future Immortal.


NATE MYLES (Sea Eagles - 29)

Widely criticised for so-called poor club form but has never let Queensland down.

Set to play his 30th Origin which is an unbelievable achievement for a front-rower.


MATT GILLETT (Broncos - 12)

Will tackle anything in his way and has been dynamic with the ball at the Broncos this year.

In terrific form.


SAM THAIDAY (Broncos - 25)

A born winner and another mainstay of the Maroons' dominant decade.

Also hard to tackle because he runs the ball so hard.


COREY PARKER (Broncos - 14)

Last year's Wally Lewis Medal winner and, at 34, seems to get better with age.

Gets involved in everything and cherishes the Maroons jersey.


MICHAEL MORGAN (Cowboys - 3)

Almost the perfect utility.


JOSH McGUIRE (Broncos - 2)

Such a powerful front-rower and has the added motivation of playing well because he missed Queensland's record 52-6 triumph in last year's decider due to injury.


AIDAN GUERRA (Roosters - 6)

Seems to belong at Origin level.


JOSH PAPALII (Raiders - 4)

Isn't afraid of anyone, just ask Blues skipper Paul Gallen.

An absolute weapon to have coming off the bench.
 



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