State of Origin 2014: Maroons vs. Blues TV, Live Stream Info and Prediction

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State of Origin 2014: Maroons vs. Blues TV, Live Stream Info and Prediction
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

One of the most renowned fixtures of the Rugby League calendar returns to Australia on Wednesday with Game 1 of this year's State of Origin Series kicking off in Brisbane.

Queensland and New South Wales clash for a 32nd edition of the annual three-part series, in which some of the biggest stars in the National Rugby League will take to the grandest stage known to the national scene.

Ahead of the opening fixture, we provide the essential details for what is likely to once again be a matchup fraught with shuddering collisions and dazzling skills from league stars of the highest order.

Game 1 Viewing Information

Date: Wednesday, May 28

Time: 11 a.m. BST/6 a.m. ET

TV Info: Premier Sports (UK, subscription required), Fox Sports 2 (USA, subscription required)

Live Stream: Premier Player (UK, subscription required) Fox Soccer 2GO (USA, subscription required)

Maroons Key Man: Johnathan Thurston

Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Playing in his 28th consecutive State of Origin Series fixture, Johnathan Thurston will once again be expected to play the part of puppeteer as Queensland go in search of victory for a ninth successive year.

The Kangaroos star was essential in helping Australia reclaim the Rugby League World Cup in 2013, and his form is just as critical at five-eighth when playing in Maroons colours.

The Courier Mail's Karl deKroo highlights Thurston as one of the faces likely to bear a massive responsibility in turning this Queensland team into champions once again:

The captain of Mal Meninga's side will rely on a strong pack performance to lay the foundations of what's sure to be a bone-splintering faceoff, but it's his boot and construction for the weapons that lie outside him that could tell the tale once again.

Blues Key Man: Jarryd Hayne

Matt King/Getty Images

New South Wales will need all their available stars glittering at their very best if they're to turn the tide that's gone against them in this series for the last eight years, and Jarryd Hayne bears a heavy load of that responsibility from fullback.

With Queensland counterpart Billy Slater standing on the opposite side of the pitch, there's bound to be an intriguing number of aerial battles between these two in the search to rule the skies, and Hayne will be hoping to make up for lost time after missing the latter two matches of 2013's series.

Sportal breaks down the NRL form of Hayne and Slater coming into this duel:

There's a chance that Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds will display some frailties in a new halfback partnership, so for Hayne to be bringing his very best and easing the burden placed on that pair is vital.

Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Reynolds and Hodkinson have been a force for the Roosters of late, but the halfback pair are just one of numerous new faces making their way into the Blues setup as New South Wales seek to end eight years of torment this year.

Queensland's line-up is, by contrast, more solidified, experienced and the advantage of having both first and third games at home only puts the fixture further in favour of the Maroons.

Game 1 Prediction: Queensland to win by 12

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