Welcome to live updates of State of Origin I, 2015. I'm Cameron McMillan and I'll be joined by Herald league writer David Skipwith who will provide his thoughts throughout the game.
They've just had the coin toss and the winner is....and Queensland won. WOW. Big upset there. Cam Smith decides to kick off. Make a New South Welshman to run up the first hit-up of the match.
Is tonight going to be a classic? NSW head into the match as defending champions for the first time in eight years after finally securing a series win last year. But not Jaryd Hayne this season and he tries to make a break in the NFL. Josh Dugan instead will wear the number one jersey for the Blues. Big shoes to fill.
So what do the stats say ahead of this opening clash?
New South Wales: 14
New South Wales: 46
42 games in NSW - Blues 24, Maroons 17, Drawn 1
16 of last 19 have been decided by 12 points or less
24 out of 33 Game 1 winners have gone on to win the series
Cameron Smith will play his 34th game for Queensland. He ties Alfie Langer for second most Origin games. Should be refrain from kicking out at rival number nines and play all three games this year he'll match Darren Lockyer for most games on 36.
Here is the NSW team:
New South Wales
1 Josh Dugan, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Michael Jennings, 5 Will Hopoate, 6 Mitchell Pearce, 7 Trent Hodkinson, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Robbie Farah, 10 James Tamou, 11 Ryan Hoffman, 12 Beau Scott, 13 Josh Jackson.
Interchange: 14 Trent Merrin, 15 Boyd Cordner, 16 David Klemmer, 17 Andrew Fifita
Jackson and Klemmer are playing Origin for the first time. A pretty impressive interchange in terms of size.
Of course for Warriors fans Ryan Hoffman is starting in the 11 jersey once again.
The Queensland team:
1 Billy Slater, 2 Darius Boyd, 3 Greg Inglis, 4 Justin Hodges, 5 Will Chambers, 6 Johnathan Thurston, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Matt Scott, 9 Cameron Smith (c), 10 Nate Myles, 11 Aidan Guerra, 12 Sam Thaiday, 13 Corey Parker.
Interchange: 14 Michael Morgan, 15 Josh McGuire, 16 Matt Gillett ,1 7 Jacob Lillyman
Hi guys, thanks for joining us.
I’m having trouble picking a winner out of tonight’s match but am leaning towards the Blues by four points, simply because games at ANZ Stadium have tended to be tight affairs and Queensland have managed only one win in their past five trips to Sydney.
Who are you guys backing?
When Shannon Noll is singing you know something big is about to happen. Thankfully he's left the ground and the players are going through final warm-ups.
Wet conditions at ANZ Stadium tonight. Going to make the forward play vital.
The efforts of halves Trent Hodkinson and Mitchell Pearce will be vital to the Blues’ cause but out wide Josh Morris again has the equally important assignment of taking care of his opposite Greg Inglis.
Morris handled the job brilliantly in game one of last year’s series which went a long way to helping NSW get the first-up win and he’ll need to produce another big performance tonight.
The Maroons are certain to aim plenty of their attack down their left side through Johnathan Thurston, Inglis and winger Darius Boyd, so Morris’ communication and defensive work with NSW right wing Will Hopoate will need to be on-song.
That's harder to pick than the result. Channel 9 like to get as much hype as possible. But at a guess I'd say 10.18pm.
Queensland have plenty of game-breakers in their line-up but Billy Slater’s shoulder injury must be a concern, with the huge NSW forwards sure to put his fitness under thorough inspection.
How the Maroons handle things up front – they concede 40kgs to the Blues’ big men - will be crucial to their hopes and the work of Nate Myles, Matt Scott and Corey Parker will go along way to determining how much space the likes of Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston get to work with.
Not far away now. It's one of the biggest rivalries in Australia - up there with Ford v Holden, Neighbours v Home and Away and Kangaroos v Koalas.
The players are getting ready to make it out to the middle.
David, who will be the KFC Impact Player?
Just under 80,000 fans at ANZ Stadium. Sea of blue. Here come the Queensland team.
The Australian national anthem first and then kick off. It's a man from Cats the musical singing it (Not dressed as a cat).
For the record one Queenslander has black boots - Aidan Guerra.
OK let's do this. Feel free to comment during the game. I'll try and accept as many as possible. Queensland to kick off.
Woods wit the first hit-up of the game and not as fierce as usual Origin opening hit-ups.
NSW get up to halfway with first set and Pearce kicks a high deep ball and Slater makes the catch and runs it back to his own 8m line.
Good start from the Blues with Aaron Woods looking for work and Mitchell Pearce getting a great long kick away. Queensland have to kick from their 30m line.
Queensland kick early and Dugan with his first touch of the night. They have the ball on their own 40m. 3rd tackle.
Trent Hodkinson kicks high and Will Chambers makes the catch and runs free down the right-hand touch.
Queensland get into NSW half and Cronk kicks a bomb but Hopoate jumps high to catch it.