With seven Sydney Roosters set to take to the field for Wednesday night's State Of Origin I at Adelaide Oval, there's plenty of anticipation heading into what looks like an intriguing series in 2020.
While four of the five Blues are returning to the Origin arena, the two Maroons are set to make their debut in what looks to be the next generation of players in the Queensland rebuild.
Boyd Cordner is set to lead his troops for the fourth straight series as Captain for the Blues pursuit of their third consecutive series victory.
His fellow Club Captain Jake Friend will be located on the opposite end of the field for his first appearance for the Queensland Maroons, a long awaited debut for the champion hooker.
Friend talks the Origin opportunity
Despite never playing against the Roosters Blues at a representative level, Friend feels comfortable thanks to the Roosters style of training.
“The way we train at the Roosters can be like playing a game at times, so I’ve had nearly all five of those guys going 100% at me at some stage," Friend said.
“It will be weird, you’re with these guys day in and day out and now we’re coming up against them."
On the other hand there's Lindsay Collins, who is also set for an Origin debut after a hard-working and rewarding season with the Roosters.
Not only accomplishing Man Of The Match honours in 2020, but even being called into the starting line-up throughout the year.
He's set to make his impact from the bench on Wednesday night and his professionalism will no doubt help his chances of becoming a Club and representative starter in the future.
"It has been a good year, but it is just the start. There has been a lot of work over the last four years – in and out of grade and playing [NSW] Cup – and there are a lot of times where you question everything," Collins said.
"There is nothing really much that I would change. If anything I have probably just matured over the last couple of years and become more professional.
"There is a saying that has stuck with me that 'be a better man and you become a better athlete' so everything I do on and off the field has been about being a good man.
Angus Crichton was called into the extended squad at the conclusion of the Roosters season after missing out on game two and three in 2019.
While he was disappointed to miss those games, his form at Club was impressive to say the least and 2020 was a successful year for the edge forward.
Head Coach Brad Fittler took notice of Crichton's incredible return from injury in 2020, which made it impossible for Fittler to overlook him for the 2020 series.
Adaptable at Club and State level, Crichton is honoured to be back in the squad and wants to make his mark on the field wherever he's required.
"It's an honour to be able to be in this squad and be around these players," Crichton said.
"Some really smart players, some really elite guys and the coaching staff as well.
"Obviously I'll play wherever the team needs me. I'm capable of playing in a number of different positions and wherever the coach wants to put me in, I'm happy to do a job," he said.
Daniel Tupou has experienced a slightly lengthier lay-off, with the Roosters veteran winger not lining up for the Blues since game one of the 2015 series.
Tupou pledged his allegiance to Tonga in 2017 and has played in test matches every year since, though their end of season tests have been put on hold in 2020.
His return to the Blues is warmly welcomed by Fittler, who says that Tupou has become a complete football player over eight seasons with the Roosters.
Tupou finished the Roosters season hungry to play more rugby league in 2020 and his attitude and mindset towards his training since joining the Blues camp has been second to none.
"There's a great group of guys here," Tupou said to Roosters digital.
"It's going really well so far and the training's been intense.
"I just want to train well, keep the body fit and when it's time I know I'll be ready.
"In the meantime, train hard, carve up, repeat."
While four of the five Blues Roosters have taken to the turf for an Origin series before, Luke Keary is set to take to the turf for the first time in his career.
That hasn't stopped his name by being thrown around season after season though and was even a seemingly certain starter in 2019 until he was ruled out due to injury.
It's a similar story to that of Club Captain Jake Friend, who also seemed certain to start in last year's series, but the time has now come for his maiden New South Wales appearance.
Keary's had involvement with the Blues in the past and was even their 18th man for a match in the 2018 series.
"It was disappointing last year with what happened, but that’s footy and injuries happen," Keary said.
"It is what it is, everything’s meant to be, hopefully I can do my family and state proud.
"These big games are built on effort and it’ll come down to who wants it more in the end."
The Blues received a boost late last week when it was made official that James Tedesco was cleared for take-off after some uncertainty with a minor knee issue.
Tedesco was looking like his usual self at training and made it through contact sessions without any concern.
It's safe to say that Tedesco will be a key piece of the puzzle for the Blues in their quest for another series victory.
“I'm feeling very good," Tedesco said about his return to training
"I got through the session, I did pretty much the whole session – contact, footwork, everything, so good to go,” Tedesco said.
STATE OF ORIGIN I
Wednesday, November 3rd
Kick off: 8:10pm
HASHTAGS: #Origin #Represent
Domestic Television: Nine Network (Sydney/Brisbane/Melbourne/Adelaide/Perth)
Streaming: 9Now App/Online
New Zealand Television: Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Domestic Radio: ABC Radio, Triple M Sydney/Brisbane, 2GB/4BC, SEN/NRL Nation (or via the NRL Match Centre in NRL App or NRL.COM)