State of Origin 2019: Date, Start Time, Live Stream for Blues vs. Maroons Game 1June 3, 2019
The New South Wales Blues head into the 2019 State of Origin series against the Queensland Maroons in the unusual position of defending champions after picking up just their second win in 13 years last year.
The Blues won the two opening games on their way to victory in 2018, and the pressure will be on Brad Fittler's side this time around to retain their title for the first time since 2005.
The Queensland Maroons will have home advantage on Wednesday with the first game being played at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, before the action switches to the Optus Stadium in Perth on Sunday 23 June.
Date: Wednesday, June 5
Time: 8 p.m. local time/11 a.m. BST/6 a.m. ET
TV Info: Channel 9 (AUS)
Live Stream: 9 Now (AUS)
State of Origin Preview
The New South Wales Blues took victory in 2018 with an inexperienced team, and Fittler has once again placed his faith in youth, naming five debutants in his squad:
South Sydney pair Cody Walker and Cameron Murray, Canberra Raiders duo Nick Cotric and Jack Wighton and 19-year-old Payne Haas have all been called up for the first time and will be out to make an impression on the big stage.
Danny Buderus at Fox Sports noted how the in-form Walker has already made a good impression with the Blues:
Fittler has also kept faith with Nathan Cleary, despite his recent struggles with Penrith Panthers. He said he is happy to stick with the 21-year-old, per Brent Read at The Australian.
"I think Nathan's game is sometimes easier to play because it is all based on effort—he tries so hard. The backbone of his game is chasing every kick, trying to make every tackle and doing everything he can. That can't be said about every player—it is quite rare. Any chance that I get to pick Nathan in a football team I am very glad."
The Queensland Maroons look to have the edge when it comes to experience which could prove vital as they look to bounce back from a rare defeat.
Coach Kevin Walters has named three debutants in his team to face NSW
David Fifita, Joe Ofahengaue and Moses Mbye are the three new faces in the squad. History will be made by 19-year-old Fifita:
Walters has showed his passion in the build-up to the series, as his team bid to regain the title:
The Queensland Maroons will not lack for motivation in the opener, and their added experience and home advantage may give them the edge.
However, NSW Blues demonstrated their freedom and lack of fear on their way to the title in 2018 and can not be written off ahead of what should be an intriguing first game between the two rivals.