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A preliminary 22-man squad has been named by the Maroons for the up-coming State of Origin series against New South Wales on 25th May. Perhaps the only surprise is Storm utility forward Dallas Johnson, but most of the rest of the squad has picked itself with inform Cowboy Jonathan Thurston included as well as veteran Raider Jason Smith. Fellow club-mate Clinton Schifcofske wasn't so lucky, once again finding himself on the outer.
In somewhat of a surprise, as NSW generally seem to begin raging favourites no matter what the circumstances, bookmaker Centrebet has installed the mighty Maroons at $1.85 ahead of the Blues who they are quoting at $1.95.
The squad is: Shaun Berrigan, Matt Bowen, Paul Bowman, Tonie Carroll, Petero Civoniceva, Michael Crocker, Chris Flannery, Dallas Johnson, Darren Lockyer, Steven Price, Scott Prince, Ben Ross, Matt Sing, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Jason Smith, Brent Tate, Brad Thorn, Jonathan Thurston, Willie Tonga, Carl Webb, Rhys Wesser.