Penrith fullback Lachlan Coote, who scored a hat-trick of tries against Gold Coast on the weekend, has been named in the City Origin side to tackle Country Origin at Regional Stadium in Port Macquarie on Friday night.
Coote will be opposed by the NRL's other young-gun fullback, Canberra's Josh Dugan. The clash is guaranteed to be one of the highlights of the annual fixture with both players electrifying with the ball in hand.
Matt Cooper, who missed several games for St George Illawarra through injury, was left out of the Country Origin backline despite making a successful return to the field in recent weeks. Instead Country has opted to pair Parramatta's Timana Tahu with exciting Canterbury Bulldogs youngster Jamal Idris. Tahu and Idris clashed during Parramatta's victory over the Bulldogs on Friday night, with many judges awarding Idris a points decision.
Brett Kimmorley, who earlier in the year stated that his form wasn't good enough to warrant a return to the NSW State of Origin No7 jersey has pipped Todd Carney for the Country Origin halfback spot. Country will cash in on Carney's versatility by starting him off the bench.
City Origin will start an all Wests Tigers front row with Robbie Farah packing in alongside teammates Bryce Gibbs and Keith Galloway. Farah will captain City Origin as he continues his battle with Country Origin hooker Mick Ennis for the NSW State of Origin jersey.
City Origin side: Lachlan Coote, Anthony Minichiello, Beau Champion, Chris Lawrence, Michael Jennings, Braith Anasta, Trent Hodkinson, Bryce Gibbs, Robbie Farah (capt), Keith Galloway, Trent Waterhouse, Mark Minichiello, Luke O'Donnell. Interchange: Kris Keating, Tim Mannah, Tim Grant, Ryan Hoffman.
Country Origin: Josh Dugan, Michael Robertson, Jamal Idris, Timana Tahu, Luke Burt, Greg Bird, Brett Kimmorley, Kade Snowden, Michael Ennis, Brett White, Ben Creagh, Glenn Stewart, Anthony Laffranchi. Interchange: Todd Carney, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Willie Mason, Dean Young.