RugbyL: NSW pick Bulldogs pair for Origin opener

Canterbury Bulldogs' Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds were unveiled as New South Wales' new halves combination Tuesday for the State of Origin opener against Queensland.

Coach Laurie Daley opted for the pairing ahead of the Sydney Roosters' Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney for the first game in Brisbane on May 28.

"I think in terms of a gamble, it's always a calculated gamble," Daley said.

"With Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds, they're playing extremely well for the team leading the comp, they're in career-best form and we decided it was the right time to go that way."

Pearce's premiership-winning Sydney Roosters teammate Daniel Tupou will make his State of Origin debut on the wing while Tony Williams returns after missing last year's series through poor form.

With Greg Bird (suspension) and Boyd Cordner (ankle injury) unavailable, Beau Scott and Ryan Hoffman fill the Blues' second-row.

New South Wales (1-17)- Jarryd Hayne, Brett Morris, Josh Morris, Michael Jennings, Daniel Tupou, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, James Tamou, Ryan Hoffman, Beau Scott, Paul Gallen (capt).

Interchange: Anthony Watmough, Tony Williams, Trent Merrin, Luke Lewis.