When Origin sides are selected, all eyes inevitably fall on the key play-making positions – and the no.1, no.6, no.7 and no.9 jerseys are consistently the most scrutinised. With 19 different halves pairings alone in the NSW VB Blues since 2006, it’s easy to see why these selections gain the most attention at this time every year.
As both teams ramp up their Origin preparations and run through the plays and scenarios they expect to draw upon next Wednesday night, however, the planning of the interchange will be vital – and Steve ‘Blocker’ Roach believes NSW are better placed in this regard.
“I think we’ve got a stronger bench than Queensland,” Roach tells NSWRL.com.au. “I think used properly, this is where we can have a huge advantage.
“If you look at the bench, (Jack) Bird, (Jake) Tbrojevic, (Wade) Graham and (David) Klemmer – all in sensational form – can’t get a start in the starting side. How we use them in Origin I is going to be a telling tale.”