Finally! Dylan Edwards wins Blues fullback race

Dylan Edwards playing for Penrith against Cronulla. Photo: NRL Photos.
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The NRL’s most consistent fullback has finally been rewarded with a Blues jumper.

Penrith’s Dylan Edwards will make his State of Origin debut for New South Wales at Accor Stadium on June 5 after new coach Michael Maguire sensationally dropped captain James Tedesco.

Edwards is one of five Panthers selected for the Origin opener with Brian To’o, Jarome Luai, Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo also in the squad.

Luai will partner Nicho Hynes in the halves, but with some minor doubts over the Cronulla halfback, Canterbury’s Matt Burton has been named as 18th man while Luke Keary from the Roosters is in the extended squad.

Jarome Luai. Photo: NRL Photos.

Luai cemented his spot with a standout performance for Penrith in the 42-0 drubbing of Cronulla at Shark Park last night.

Edwards meanwhile has had an outstanding season, with his form impossible to ignore. He leads the Dally M medal count and has played in the past four Grand Finals – proving he is ready for the biggest stage.

Manly’s Jake Trbojevic will replace Tedesco as captain.

Liam Martin suffered a scare last night and there were concerns over his hamstring, but scans today cleared him to be named for the Origin opener.

Liam Martin. Photo: NRL Images.

There’s six debutants in Maguire’s team for the Origin opener but it is the selection of Edwards that confirms he wants to stamp his own authority on the Blues team.

Queensland is aiming for a three-peat of series wins this year and it was clear change was needed. Maguire has named a squad that will New South Wales will get behind.

The squad will divide their time between the NSWRL Centre of Excellence at Sydney Olympic Park and the Fairmont Blue Mountains Resort in Leura to prepare for Game One.

New Blues coach Michael Maguire. Photo: NRL Photos.

Maguire will front the media tomorrow, ahead of the True Blues Dinner in Sydney tomorrow night.

NEW SOUTH WALES TEAM FOR ORIGIN I

1. Dylan Edwards (Penrith Panthers)
2. Brian To’o (Penrith Panthers)
3. Stephen Crichton (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
4. Joseph Sua’ali’i (Sydney Roosters)
5. Zac Lomax (St George Illawarra Dragons)
6. Jarome Luai (Penrith Panthers)
7. Nicholas Hynes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
8. Jake Trbojevic (c) (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
9. Reece Robson (North Queensland Cowboys)
10. Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos)
11. Liam Martin (Penrith Panthers)
12. Angus Crichton (Sydney Roosters)
13. Cameron McInnes (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
14. Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers)
15. Haumole Olakau’atu (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
16. Spencer Leniu (Sydney Roosters)
17. Hudson Young (Canberra Raiders)
18. Matt Burton (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
19. Luke Keary (Sydney Roosters)
20. Mitchell Barnett (Warriors)
Coach: Michael Maguire

Troy Dodds

Troy Dodds is the Weekender's Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia's leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.


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