TOWNSVILLE junior Aidan Guerra will make his Origin debut in Game 1 of the Holden State of Origin series after tonight being named in the XXXX Queensland Maroons team for the historic 100th match at Suncorp Stadium.
The Sydney Roosters back-rower replaces the injured Sam Thaiday in the only change to the Maroons’ team which beat New South Wales in the final match of the 2013 series.
Maroons selectors have again rewarded the incumbents as they set off on their quest to win a ninth consecutive series.
There is however one change to the starting team, with in-form Bronco Matt Gillett named in the No. 12 jersey for his run-on debut in maroon colours.
Guerra is on an interchange bench which includes Daly Cherry-Evans, Ben Te’o and Josh Papalii.
Maroons coach Mal Meninga is pleased with the balance and stability of the side.
“Unfortunately Sam had to pull out because of a calf injury and young Aidan Guerra gets his opportunity,” Meninga said (watch the full QRL TV video above).
“Aside from that, everyone is fit and healthy and raring to go.”
Meninga said it was a huge positive to see Guerra get his chance after consecutive years with the QAS Emerging Origin squad.
“I think he’ll do a fine job for Queensland,” the Maroons coach said.
Melbourne Storm’s Will Chambers and Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend joined camp today as part of an extended squad.
Make sure you have your ticket to the historic 100th Origin match at Suncorp Stadium on May 28. www.ticketek.com.au
XXXX Queensland Maroons
1. Billy SLATER - Melbourne Storm
2. Darius BOYD - Newcastle Knights
3. Greg INGLIS - South Sydney Rabbitohs
4. Justin HODGES - Brisbane Broncos
5. Brent TATE - North Queensland Cowboys
6. Johnathan THURSTON - North Queensland Cowboys
7. Cooper CRONK - Melbourne Storm
8. Matt SCOTT - North Queensland Cowboys
9. Cameron SMITH (c) - Melbourne Storm
10. Nate MYLES - Gold Coast Titans
18. Chris MCQUEEN* - South Sydney Rabbitohs
12. Matt GILLETT - Brisbane Broncos
13. Corey PARKER - Brisbane Broncos
14. Daly CHERRY-EVANS - Manly Sea Eagles
15. Ben TE’O - South Sydney Rabbitohs
16. Aidan GUERRA - Sydney Roosters
17. Josh PAPALII - Canberra Raiders
19. Will CHAMBERS - Melbourne Storm
20. Jake FRIEND - Sydney Roosters
Coach: Mal Meninga
- *No. 11 jersey to be retired in honour of Arthur Beetson for Game 1.