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The NSW selectors have announced a 30-man squad for the 2005 State of Origin rugby league series. The players will assemble at the S.C.G. tomorrow and will be reduced to a 17-man team for the opener against arch rivals Queensland at Suncorp Stadium on May 25.
Among the newcomers are Ben Creagh (Dragons), Matt King (Storm), Luke O'Donnell (Cowboys), Anthony Tupou (Roosters) and Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles).
The five-eighth position looks very much up for grabs with Trent Barrett, Braith Anasta and Scott Hill all selected. Likewise, with hooker and halfback, two players have been chosen to cover the positions with Danny Buderus and Luke Priddis in the battle of the rakes and Brett Kimmorley and Craig Gower fighting to feed the scrum.
Veteran Steve Menzies is also there probably off the back of his superb performance in Friday night's City v Country stoush. The Dragons have the heaviest representation with seven players included, followed by Penrith with six and the Roosters with five.
NSW squad: Braith Anasta (Bulldogs) Luke Bailey (St George Illawarra) Danny Buderus (Newcastle) Trent Barrett (St George Illawarra) Ryan Cross (Sydney Roosters) Ben Creagh (St George Illawarra) Joel Clinton (Penrith) Matt Cooper (St George Illawarra) Craig Fitzgibbon (Sydney Roosters) Mark Gasnier (St George Illawarra) Craig Gower (Penrith) Scott Hill (Melbourne) Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta) Ben Hornby (St George Illawarra) Ben Kennedy (Manly) Brett Kimmorley (Cronulla) Matt King (Melbourne) Brent Kite (Manly) Luke Lewis (Penrith) Steve Menzies (Manly) Anthony Minichiello (Sydney Roosters) Luke O'Donnell (North Queensland) Luke Priddis (Penrith) Luke Rooney (Penrith) Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs) Jason Ryles (St George Illawarra) Anthony Tupou (Sydney Roosters) Trent Waterhouse (Penrith) Anthony Watmough (Manly) Craig Wing (Sydney Roosters)