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Updated by Melbourne Storm on Dec 19, 2013
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State of Origin II - News Update

A list of the latest news items from around the web in the lead up to State of Origin II

Ryan Hoffman - Media Conference

Storm forward Ryan Hoffman chatted to the media ahead in the NSW Blues camp this morning

Queensland make two changes

Daly Cherry-Evans and Josh Papalii will make their State of Origin debuts on June 26 at Suncorp Stadium after Queensland today announced two changes to the side that lost 14-6 to New South Wales in the opening game at ANZ Stadium.

Softly-Spoken Papalii Set to Make Origin Impact

When superstar Greg Inglis admits to "looking out for you' on the field, you know you must have some serious ammunition in your rugby league arsenal. In the case of Logan Brothers junior Josh Papalii, it's his bone-rattling defence that has players and fans talking.

Big Mal Explains Team Selections

Queensland coach Mal Meninga admits it was "difficult" to make changes but he believes the injection of new blood will allow the XXXX Maroons to keep "moving forward". The Maroons camp today announced the inclusion of fresh faces Daly Cherry-Evans and Josh Papalii in the 17, with David Shillington and Ashley Harrison missing selection for the June 26 match.

Watmough and Jennings embrace hostile Suncorp

The NSW VB Blues will carry no demons into their clash with Queensland at Suncorp Stadium, despite the predicted 'hostilities' of Maroons fans. Since the full-time siren sounded on a 14-6 victory to New South Wales in Game One, Queenslanders have been eagerly awaiting the return bout with their interstate rivals, with a capacity crowd promising to unleash their anger on the Blues.

Farah Shows Support For Woods

NSW VB Blues Vice-Captain, Robbie Farah, has thrown his support around teammate Aaron Woods as he prepares to make his State of Origin debut against Queensland. Speaking at the Blues media session this morning, Farah insisted that Woods wouldn't be overawed by the expected 'hostile' atmosphere of Suncorp Stadium.

Maroons look to fresh faces

Queensland have moved away from their famed 'pick-and-stick' mantra, bringing new faces Josh Papalii and Daly Cherry-Evans into the Maroons side for next week's must-win Origin II at Suncorp Stadium. With the series on the line, Maroons coach Mal Meninga has shown his ruthless streak by dropping experienced pair Ashley Harrison and David Shillington from the side that lost 14-6 to NSW in game one.

Injured Blues ready to go

And now for some good news. Amid a day of high drama inside the NSW Origin on Monday, there were some positives as a host of doubtful players declared themselves ready to go against Queensland on Wednesday week.

Merritt pick works for Inglis

The feelgood story of the NSW State of Origin team has also made Queensland strike weapon Greg Inglis happy - for reasons that would wipe the smile off Blues fans' faces. While stoked South Sydney teammate Nathan Merritt had finally earned a Blues jersey after 10 years trying, Inglis claimed their selection call had played straight into his hands as he planned to get more involved for Queensland.

Titans coach feels for Origin outcast

He could be forgiven for taking Ashley Harrison's availability as a bonus but Gold Coast coach John Cartwright would rather the back-rower was preparing for another State of Origin appearance. Harrison was on Tuesday named in the Titans team to play NRL premiers Melbourne next week minutes after he was left out of the Maroons line-up for State of Origin II in Brisbane.

Merritt's time to shine

After 12 seasons, 212 games and 148 tries, Nathan Merritt will finally wear the representative jersey