**State of Origin kick-off times, Sydney and Brisbane AEST start times for Townsville fixture, NSW vs Queensland Game 1 Ultimate Guide**
State of Origin, NSW vs Queensland: there’s nothing quite like it. With the 2021 series kicking-off on Wednesday, June 9, we’ve got you covered with all the key match information and biggest talking points.
MATCH CENTRE: Follow game 1 scores live
Origin I: Wednesday, 9 June, kick-off time 8.10pm AEST (QLD, NSW, Victoria) – Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Origin II: Sunday, 27 June, kick-off time 8.10pm AEST (QLD, NSW, Victoria) – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Origin III: Wednesday, 14 July, kick-off time 8.10pm AEST (NSW, QLD, Victoria) – Stadium Australia, Sydney
QLDER: Origin Special
HOW TO WATCH
Live and exclusive on Nine, with coverage starting at 7pm and wrapping up with a post-game show until 11pm. You can also stream the match free on 9Now.
You can also follow the action with Wide World of Sports’ live blog and match centre!
TEAMS FOR ORIGIN I
QUEENSLAND (likely): 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Xavier Coates 3. Dane Gagai 4. Kurt Capewell 5. Kyle Feldt 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) 8. Christian Welch 9. Harry Grant 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. David Fifita 12. Felise Kaufusi 13. Jai Arrow. Bench: 14. AJ Brimson 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Jaydn Su’A. 18th man: Coen Hess, 19th man: Reed Mahoney
NEW SOUTH WALES: 1. James Tedesco 2. Brian To’o 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Tom Trbojevic 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Damien Cook 10. Jake Trbojevic 11. Cameron Murray 12. Tariq Sims 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Jack Wighton 15. Junior Paulo 16. Payne Haas 17. Liam Martin 18. Api Koroisau 19. Campbell Graham
Gerard Sutton will be the match referee for Game I of the 2021 State of Origin series.
Todd Smith and Phil Henderson have been appointed as touch judges and Ashley Klein will be the Bunker official.
Ponga ruled out of Origin I
Game I: The Veronicas
Game II: Sheppard
Game III: Lime Cordiale and JK47
ODDS (courtesy of Sportsbet)
Origin I: Maroons $2.50; Blues $1.54
Townsville secures opening Origin game
THE TALKING POINTS
Queensland stunned NSW last year as underdogs, and will hope for a repeat as the Blues are once again favourites.
Even despite Game One being shifted from neutral territory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to Maroons country up in Townsville, the Blues are headed north with a swagger in their step.
Ahead of Game One, both teams have had to deal with injuries to key players, but Queensland have definitely been harder hit, bringing plenty of selection headaches for new Maroons coach Paul Green.
Queensland will be without Kalyn Ponga after the Knights playmaker was unable to make his return to fitness from a groin injury in time for Game I. Ponga missed the entire 2020 Origin series due to shoulder surgery, but he is still a chance to feature in the 2021 series. His absence is expected to move Valentine Holmes to fullback and push Kyle Feldt to the wing to make his Origin debut.
There are also question marks over Maroons No.6 Cameron Munster and whether his foot injury will stop him starting Game One, but Blues legend Paul Gallen has warned NSW not to underestimate the hobbled Queenslander who has dealt with injuries before big matches many times during his career.
For the Blues, they will miss their captain Boyd Cordner this year as he continues to recover from repeated concussions. NSW’s Tyson Frizell is also out for the 2021 series after he was injured last weekend, and needed ankle surgery.
A major concern for fans and pundits for this year’s Origin series is how referees will officiate with the recent crackdown in the NRL on head contact leading to a drastic increase of sin-bins and players on report. With such a physical contest expected each year at State of Origin, the referees – and players – will have a tough job in finding the right balance.
Origin must be refereed the same: Sterlo
2020 STATE OF ORIGIN RESULTS
Origin I: QLD 18 (Addo-Carr 2, Cook 1) d NSW 14 (Brimson, Coates, Munster)
Origin II: NSW 34 (Addo-Carr 2, Walker, Tedesco, Wighton, Tupou) d QLD 10 (Coates, Papalii)
Origin III: QLD 20 (Holmes, Lee, Grant) d NSW 14 (Tedesco, Tupou)
Series result: QLD 2-1
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