Blues name record Origin rookie crop

NSW coach Brad Fittler will bank on a record number of debutants in the State of Origin series opener in Melbourne, with 11 rookies named in his squad.

Fittler unveiled his first Blues squad on Monday night, and in doing so embarked on the biggest changing of the guard in Origin history following 12 years of despair for NSW.

No team has ever picked more than 10 debutants - which Queensland did in game one, 2001 - while NSW's record number of rookies is eight, most recently in the 2002 opener.

James Maloney will keep his No.6 jersey ahead of Luke Keary after he and Nathan Cleary pulled off a near-perfect audition in Penrith's 28-2 win over St George Illawarra on Saturday night.

"The thing that was impressive about (Penrith's) halves is they kept the pressure on the whole time," Fittler told the Nine's Footy Show.

"The one thing that is impressive about Jimmy Maloney is regardless of the score he knows how to get the ball down the other end.

"You need that kind of attitude in the games against the big teams."

Fittler's comments signified a change of tune on the two-time premiership winner, after he criticised the 31-year-old's defence on the same platform just a week earlier.

James Tedesco has retained the fullback role, meaning Tom Trbojevic earns his maiden Blues jumper on the wing.

Melbourne flyer Josh Addo-Carr claims the other winger's spot.

Latrell Mitchell and James Roberts will fill the centre positions with St George Illawarra's Euan Aitken being edged out.

Roberts has impressed in recent weeks but has an Achilles injury, while Mitchell scored in the Sydney Roosters' win over the Gold Coast after a forgettable first half.

Jack de Belin has been named to make his debut alongside fellow Dragons forward Paul Vaughan who made the bench.

De Belin aggravated a hip injury in the Dragons' loss to Penrith, but he and Fittler were confident the issues wouldn't be long term after he first injured it a fortnight ago.

"It's definitely feeling better than when I originally did it," de Belin said.

"I was pretty close to playing (on Saturday night) without a needle but I didn't want to risk it and I wanted to put a good performance in to stick in the selectors' minds."

Damien Cook's powerhouses performances for Souths in recent weeks has seen him usurp early favourite Cameron McInnes for the hooking role with rookie Panther Tyrone Peachey to be used as a bench utility.

After a slow start to the year promising Souths backrower Angus Chrichton has been rewarded for hitting his straps over the last month with a bench spot.

Maloney, Tedesco, Tyson Frizell, David Klemmer captain Boyd Cordner and Jake Trbojevic - who goes to the bench - are the only survivors from last year's series loss.

NSW: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Tom Trbojevic, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. James Roberts, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. James Maloney, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11. Boyd Cordner (c), 12. Tyson Frizell, 13. Jack de Belin. Interchange: 14. Paul Vaughan, 15. Jake Trbojevic, 16. Angus Crichton, 17. Tyrone Peachey.

Queensland: 1. Billy Slater, 2. Valentine Holmes, 3. Greg Inglis (c), 4. Will Chambers, 5. Dane Gagai, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Dylan Napa, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Jarrod Wallace, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Felise Kaufusi, 13. Josh McGuire. Interchange: 14. Michael Morgan, 15. Josh Papalii, 16. Coen Hess, 17. Jai Arrow.

Australian Associated Press