The Intrust Super Premiership NSW representative side are out to retain the Residents shield at 1.40pm today when they take on their Queensland counterparts at Suzuki Stadium, shown live on Channel 9.
Led by Mitch Cornish, the NSW side flew into Queensland on Wednesday afternoon carrying the shield through Brisbane airport, with every intention of taking it back home this afternoon.
Coach Rip Taylor selected his Wyong Roos halves combination - Cornish and Jayden Nikorima – to pair for the Residents side, however due to respective injuries, the two have not played together in the last month.
On the other side of the fence, Brodie Croft was originally selected to play for Queensland, but had to withdraw from the side after being picked for the Junior Kangaroos and has been replaced by Kyle Laybutt.
Dylan Edwards is in outrageously good form for both of the Penrith Panthers’ NRL and Intrust Super Premiership outfits, and has a massive job to do at fullback to replicate the fantastic match-winning performance that Justin Hunt provided in last year’s fixture.
The NSW backline is fairly similar to last year, with Jordan Drew, Matt Allwood and Bureta Faraimo all retaining their positions, while the final spot is filled by in-form Roos winger Chris Centrone.
Craig Garvey will play at hooker for the side, coming up against Queensland’s Mitch Cronin, which looks to be a fantastic battle.
The final result will depend on which forward pack will come out on top, with both states selecting big sides to try and get a one-up on their opposition.
Leading from the front for NSW will be in-form Bulldogs big man Andy Saunders, as well as Moses Leota who has played in the Panthers’ NRL side at various stages this year.
Asipeli Fine was one of NSW’s best players last year and he will once again line up in the second row, along with the incredibly tough Jack Williams from Newtown.
Cheyne Whitelaw is averaging just fewer than 40 tackles per game in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW this year, and he will lock up the scrum for NSW.
Queensland has also picked a quality starting forward pack, led by captain Blake Leary in the second row, featuring Ben Spina, Nathaniel Neale, Dean Britt, and Sam Anderson.
The utility role will be another fantastic battle as Tyrone May wears the No. 14 for NSW, up against the dynamic Christian Hazard.
While NSW currently hold the shield, both sides line-up very different to last year, which makes the upcoming content an interesting one to watch.
The Residents clash will be shown live on Channel 9 today with a 1.40pm kick-off.