This Wednesday night, before Origin I kicks off, the under-18 sides will meet for the 11th time. But before we get to that, let’s take a little look at each player selected for their state. New South Wales have won the last two fixtures, with Queensland’s last win coming in 2015 at the MCG.
New South Wales U18
1. John-Paul Nohra (Parramatta Eels)
The elusive fullback regains his Blues’ jumper after playing for NSW U16 in 2016. He scored 4 tries in 8 games for the Eels’ SG Ball side.
2. Jason Saab (St George Dragons)
Saab was one of St George’s standouts in a side that missed the finals in 2018. The winger scored 4 tries in 8 games for the side.
3. Bradman Best (Newcastle Knights)
After scoring the winning try for the Blues in last year’s U16 Origin, Best moves up to the U18 side after scoring 7 tries in 8 games for Newcastle’s SG Ball side.
4. Bronson Xerri (Cronulla Sharks)
Xerri has spent the entire season with the Sharks’ Jersey Flegg side, scoring 5 tries in 9 appearances already. Like Blore, he is a former NSW U16 and Australian Schoolboy representative.
5. Tallis Angianga (Central Coast Roosters)
A strike centre for the Central Coast’s SG Ball side, he scored 6 tries in 8 games for the side, finishing the season as the club’s top try scorer.
6. Jock Madden (Newcastle Knights)
The SG Ball’s top point scorer with 155 points in 11 games, Madden earns another Blue jersey after starting at five-eighth for NSW U16 in 2016.
7. Phoenix Crossland (Newcastle Knights) – (c)
Talented halfback who will once again partner with his Knights’ teammate Jock Madden in the halves, as they did in 2016 for the NSW U16 side.
8. Spencer Leniu (Penrith Panthers)
An Australian Schoolboy in 2017, Leniu played just 3 SG Ball games before suffering an injury which saw him miss the Panthers’ finals victories.
9. Maurice Trindall (Penrith Panthers)
Trindall was deadly from dummy half during the Panthers’ run to state and national glory, scoring 7 tries in his 13 appearances.
10. Stefano Utoikamanu (Parramatta Eels)
After 8 games for the Eels’ SG Ball side, Utoikamanu has made the leap to their Jersey Flegg side, scoring 2 tries in 4 games so far.
11. Egan Butcher (Sydney Roosters)
A back rower like his older brother Nat, Egan scored 11 tries from 10 games for the Roosters’ SG Ball side before moving up to their Jersey Flegg team.
12. Shawn Blore (Penrith Panthers) – (c)
The captain of Penrith’s SG Ball and National Final winning side, Blore caps off a brilliant year with a Blue jersey. He is a former NSW U16 and Australian Schoolboy representative.
13. Duwayne Fuimaono (Sydney Roosters)
The only returning player from last year’s victorious U18 side, Fuimaono has recently made the move up to the Roosters’ Jersey Flegg side.
14. Tommy Talau (Canterbury Bulldogs)
Son of Bulldogs’ great Willie, Tommy will make his first appearance in a NSW jumper after scoring 9 tries in 11 games for Canterbury’s U18 team.
15. Matthew Doorey (Canterbury Bulldogs)
After scoring 7 tries in 9 games for the Eels’ SG Ball side, Doorey made a mid-season switch to the Bulldogs, joining their Jersey Flegg side.
16. Jalal Bazzaz (Illawarra Steelers)
A hard running front rower, who once rocked one of the game’s best mullets, Bazzaz played 9 games for Illawarra, coming off the bench in the majority of them.
17. Jaron Purcell (Newcastle Knights)
The captain of last year’s victorious NSW U16 side, Purcell moves up to the U18 side after 10 games for the Knights’ SG Ball side.
18. Ryan Gray (Canterbury Bulldogs)
One of the key players in the Bulldogs’ charge to the SG Ball Grand Final, Grray scored 5 tries in 13 SG Ball games for Canterbury.
1. McKenzie Baker (Sydney Roosters)
A former Townsville Blackhawk, Baker has had a great season with the Roosters, scoring 13 tries in 10 appearances in the SG Ball to earn another Queensland jersey.
2. Sebastian Winters-Chang (Easts Tigers)
18th man for Queensland U16 two years ago, Winters-Chang finally gets his chance after scoring 6 tries in 4 games for Easts’ Mal Meninga Cup side before moving up to the Hastings Deering Colts.
3. Jack Paterson (Norths Devils)
Paterson was a tough player to stop in 2018, scoring 9 tries in 7 games in the Devils’ run to the Mal Meninga Cup Grand Final. He has since moved up to the Hastings Deering Colts.
4. Ioane Seiuli (Souths Logan Magpies)
A Queensland U16 rep in 2016, Seiuli scored 4 tries in 9 games for the Magpies MM Cup side and has scored 1 try from his first 2 Hastings Deering Colts games.
5. Xavier Coates (Tweed Heads Seagulls)
A strong season in the centres for Tweed Heads’ MM Cup side has seen Coates earn his first Queensland honours, scoring 3 tries in 7 games for the Seagulls.
6. Tanah Boyd (Souths Logan Magpies)
His second appearance for Queensland U18, Boyd scored 5 tries in 5 games for the Grand Final-winning Magpies. His Colts career has started just as strong, with 2 tries in 2 games.
7. Tom Dearden (Tweed Heads Seagulls)
Originally from Mackay, Dearden’s great form for Tweed Heads, in which he scored 12 tries in 7 games, saw him rewarded with his first Queensland jersey.
8. Garrett Smith (Mackay Cutters)
The Cowboys-contracted Smith scored 6 tries in 7 games for Mackay as they qualified for the MM Cup finals. He has moved up to the club’s under-20 side in recent weeks.
9. Cory Paix (Norths Devils)
Usually a half, Paix has been named at hooker for his second U18 Origin game. After scoring 86 points for Norths’ U18, he has since moved to their U20 side, where he has already scored 20 points in 2 games.
10. Ethan Bullemoor (Norths Devils)
Bullocking prop Bullemoor crossed for 5 tries in Norths’ run to the MM Cup Grand Final. Now in their U20 side, he has 1 try from his first 2 games.
11. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Victoria Thunderbolts)
A promising back rower, Fa’asuamaleaui has spent 2018 playing for Victoria’s U20 side and has made two Queensland Cup appearances for the Sunshine Coast.
12. David Fifita (Souths Logan Magpies) – (c)
After scoring 12 tries in 9 games in the MM Cup, Fifita was fast-tracked straight to the Queensland Cup. The Broncos’ NRL squad member scored a try and ran for 218 metres in his second game.
13. Tom Gilbert (Townsville Blackhawks)
Formerly with the Norths Devils, the Cowboys-contracted Gilbert played just 2 MM Cup games before being moved up to Townsville’s U20 side.
14. Fanitesi Niu (Souths Logan Magpies)
The man of the match in Souths Logan’s Grand Final win over Norths, Niu scored a double in the victory. Primarily a fullback, he represented Queensland U16 last year.
15. Geordie Brand (Sydney Roosters)
A former Keebra Park student, Brand is in his first season with the Roosters. He played 10 SG Ball games before being moved up to their Jersey Flegg side in recent weeks.
16. David Butler (Tweed Heads Seagulls)
A hard running prop, Butler will represent Queensland for the first time after a strong season for Tweed Heads, playing 7 games.
17. Blake Campbell (Tweed Heads Seagulls)
A Queensland U16 rep in 2016, Campbell will don the jersey again after standout MM Cup season for Tweed Heads. He has since played 3 games for their U20 side.
18. Jake Simpkin (Western Mustangs)
The starting hooker for Queensland U16 last year, Simpkin enjoyed a great season with the Western Mustangs MM Cup side, scoring 4 tries in 6 games.