The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The following players have been selected in the VB NSW Cup Representative side set to face the QLD Residents prior to game three of the Holden State of Origin series in Brisbane.
Player - VB NSW Cup Club/NRL Club
Clinton Gutherson - Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Chanel Mata'utia - Newcastle Knights
Isaah Yeo - Penrith Panthers
Waqa Blake - Penrith Panthers
Nathan Stapleton - Newtown Jets/Sydney Roosters
Jack Ahearn - Mounties/Canberra Raiders
Mitch Cornish - Mounties/Canberra Raiders
Sam Anderson - Penrith Panthers
Mitch Williams - Wyong Roos
Jack Buchanan - Wests Tigers
Lachlan Burr - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Jake Foster - Mounties/Canberra Raiders
Tim Robinson - Cronulla Sharks
Tyler Randell - Newcastle Knights
Willis Meehan - Newtown Jets/Sydney Roosters
Mark Nicholls - Mounties/Canberra Raiders
Nathan Brown - Wests Tigers
COACH: Jason Taylor - Sydney Roosters
Over the past twelve months, there has been a shift away from the old 'Residents' format in regards to selection, towards a more specific pathway that will bring through the next generation of NSW talent.
NSWRL Chief Executive, David Trodden, said the changes needed to be made to reflect the pathways being formalised by the organisation's High Performance Unit.
"As a league, we are extremely proud of the role that our competitions, and in particular, the VB NSW Cup, play in the development of the game," Mr Trodden said.
"The link between the VB NSW Cup and the NRL has been strengthened this year, while this fixture continues to be a strong development tool. Josh Reynolds played in this game only a few years ago and is now a mainstay of the VB Blues side. James Maloney is another graduate. Matt Moylan and Tyrone Peachey progressed through this match and played in the City Origin side this year.
"There is now a defined pathway there for those coming through the ranks, from the under-16 level right through to Origin. This match will continue to play a significant role within that landscape."
Further to the above, here is an insight into the eligibility and selection criteria that is now being used to select the side:
In cases where no eligible athlete has met or exceeded the selection criteria, the VB NSW Cup Representative side Head Coach, in agreement with the NSW State of Origin Head Coach may select an athlete from outside the eligibility criteria.
The State of Origin Head Coach must indicate that the athlete's selection is supported by current form to the Selection Committee.
In order to assist in the development of the next generation of athletes capable of representing the NSW State of Origin team, the maximum age for selection for the VB NSW Cup Representative side will be restricted to those athletes whose twenty-fifth (25) birthday falls in or after the calendar year in question.
Selection will be made without bias or discrimination and is open to any NSW athlete who meets the following eligibility criteria:
The athlete must have appeared in a minimum of 50% of the games they're available for in the 2014 VB NSW Cup or Intrust Super Cup rounds prior to the selection committee meeting.
Must be available to play for Australia and not represented a Tier 1 Nation at Senior Level.
In addition to the eligibility criteria above, the athlete must also answer yes to the majority of conditions below.