Origin history beckons for Blues: Cordner

Boyd Cordner has embraced the challenge of guiding the Blues to back-to-back Origin series wins.
Boyd Cordner has embraced the challenge of guiding the Blues to back-to-back Origin series wins.

Boyd Cordner has challenged NSW to step into State of Origin folklore by becoming the first Blues team to defend the shield in 14 years.

NSW coach Brad Fittler will name his team for game one on Sunday, with at least two changes expected from the side beaten in last year's dead rubber.

Tom Trbojevic (ankle) and Jack de Belin (stood down) are certain outs, while James Roberts is all but certain to join them after his axing to reserve grade in Brisbane.

James Maloney, Nathan Cleary, and utility Tyrone Peachey are also under mounting pressure to retain their spots.

Cleary was widely tipped to the crucial halfback position, where he was likely to be partnered by in-form Sydney Roosters star Luke Keary.

However, Keary was on Saturday ruled out after suffering a concussion on Friday night against Newcastle.

His absence may force Fittler to consider the South Sydney combination of Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds, or pair Cleary with the also out-of-form Maloney.

But whichever way Fittler decides to go, Cordner said the task remains the same.

"The challenge for us is to go back-to-back. It hasn't been done since 2005, so it's a big challenge," the NSW captain said.

"We'll see how the weekend pans out with the rest of the footy.

"Hopefully everyone's safe and just can't wait to get into camp and go through all that again."

NSW assistant Danny Buderus was the last Blues captain to lead the state to consecutive series wins in 2004-2005.

Eighth immortal Andrew Johns was the halfback and Ricky Stuart the coach in a series where they came back from a game down to triumph 2-1.

"Yeah, it's a long time. That's the challenge for us," Cordner said.

"I'm sure Freddie will have it all planned out ready for us and I'm sure we'll be as hungry as ever to go out and play good."

Roberts' demotion has paved the way for veteran Josh Morris to possibly come out of representative retirement.

Nick Cotric and Blake Ferguson are understood to be battling for the vacant wing spot, while Cameron Murray and Payne Haas could debut from the bench.

POSSIBLE NSW TEAM FOR STATE OF ORIGIN I

1. James Tedesco, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. Josh Morris, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Boyd Cordner (capt), 12. Tyson Frizell, 13. Jake Trbojevic. Bench: 14. Tyrone Peachey, 15. Cameron Murray, 16. Tariq Sims, 17. Angus Crichton.

Australian Associated Press