This year’s NSW Country Origin vs City Origin has become a farce with clubs dictating who plays and who doesn’t, robbing the country town of Mudgee a marquee event this Sunday.

LAST TIME OUT

An excellent exhibition for the Tamworth locals with seventy-four points scored, the highest aggregated score since the concept began in 1987.  City proving too strong 44-30 after leading 18-6 at half time.  It was an afternoon where South Sydney Rabbitoh Aaron Gray scored four tries. Unfortunately an injury sustained at the Auckland Nines has prevented him from getting on the paddock this season.

KEY BATTLES

It’s more about what players to watch with Laurie Daley’s coaching spot with the Blues potentially on the line if they go down in the series.

From the Country side, Euan Aitken could be one of the players to break through having already tasted International football with Scotland at last year’s Four Nations.  In the forwards Dale Finucane from the successful Storm club could force his way into Origin contention with a strong game.

For City, Matt Moylan has a chance to show why he should retain his position in the NSW side despite his club’s dismal form.  His teammate James Tamou is in a similar situation as Moylan, with hopefully his knee improving with more game time under his belt.

One spot NSW will hope to resolve is their hooker.  Damien Cook is a hard-working, gritty number nine who will take on the man who he replaced at South Sydney, now St George hooker Cameron McInnes.

Of course there’s suspicion despite limited game time that the Blues may select Robbie Farah.

PREDICTION

Expect another entertaining game with the game boosted by Paul Gallen’s presence.  City look like they have more firepower outside in a game that should yield points like last year.

NSW City by 12.

SQUADS

UPDATED | International and City vs Country Squads