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The preliminary 25-member NSW squad for the rugby league State of Origin series beginning June 11 has been selected. Centre's Mark Gasnier and Matt Gidley have been included after previously being snubbed, along with rookie prop Ryan O'Hara after his stirring performance on Friday night for Country. The squad will be trimmed back to 17 a week before the game with a lot of attention placed on the five-eighth position now that Trent Barrett has been injured and overlooked. Braith Anasta would be the obvious replacement with Craig Wing possibly providing some versatility off the bench in that area.
The squad is:
Braith Anasta (Bulldogs) Luke Bailey (Dragons) Danny Buderus (Knights) Michael De Vere (Broncos) Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs) Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters) Mark Gasnier (Dragons) Matthew Gidley (Knights) Andrew Johns (Knights) Robbie Kearns (Storm) Ben Kennedy (Knights) Jamie Lyon (Eels) Willie Mason (Bulldogs) Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles) Anthony Minichiello (Roosters) Ryan O'Hara (Raiders) David Peachey (Sharks) Luke Ricketson (Roosters) Jason Ryles (Dragons) Brent Sherwin (Bulldogs) Steve Simpson (Knights) Jason Stevens (Sharks) Timana Tahu (Knights) Shaun Timmins (Dragons) Craig Wing (Roosters)