State of Origin 2019: Queensland name three debutants in squad

David Fifita is one of three new faces.
David Fifita is one of three new faces. Photo credit: AAP

Queensland coach Kevin Walters has named teenager David Fifita among three debutants in a new-look Maroons squad for the State of Origin series opener against NSW.

Fifita, 19, and fellow Brisbane forward Joe Ofahengaue join Wests Tigers utility Moses Mbye as the new faces in the 17 for the Suncorp Stadium clash on Wednesday week.

Fifita - who has played just 21 NRL games - becomes the first player born in the 2000s to play Origin football.

Walters has opted for a youth policy after NSW claimed the 2018 Origin series 2-1 last year.

Overall seven changes have been made to the Maroons squad that claimed an 18-12 in the dead-rubber third game last year.

Incumbent forwards Coen Hess, Gavin Cooper, Jarrod Wallace and Tim Glasby have been axed while the squad is also missing retired great Billy Slater, NFL hopeful Valentine Holmes and injured Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough.

Fifita squeezed out Hess in the squad while Cooper was dumped in favour of Brisbane back-rower Matt Gillett who returns after missing the bulk of 2018 due to a broken neck.

State of Origin 2019: Queensland name three debutants in squad

Wallace makes way for Broncos prop Ofahengaue on the Maroons bench.

Mbye is battling a groin injury but is expected to take his place as the Maroons bench utility after holding out challenges from Anthony Milford and Jake Granville for the No.14 jersey.

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans has been named at halfback despite battling an ankle injury and is also expected to be unveiled as captain at a function on Monday night.

The Maroons this year begin life without retired greats Slater and former captain Greg Inglis.

Queensland: Kalyn Ponga, Corey Oates, Will Chambers, Michael Morgan, Dane Gagai, Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jai Arrow, Ben Hunt, Josh Papalii, Felise Kaufusi, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire. Interchange: Moses Mbye, Dylan Napa, Joe Ofahengaue, David Fifita.    


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