AAP Rugby

States mull Origin selections, logistics

By AAP Newswire

NSW and Queensland are still trying to work out how to best pick State of Origin squads as half the NRL's players prepare to exit the bubble in less than a fortnight.

The NRL confirmed this week that Adelaide would still host the series opener on November 4, but several questions still remain over the lead up.

Front and centre for both states is how and when they will pick their 27-man squads in order to keep players fit and within biosecurity guidelines.

Ideally, players will be announced in the squad once their team's NRL campaign is over, be it at the end of next weekend or during the finals, to give them time to prepare for Origin.

Players would then enter camp from October 19, which coincides with the start of grand final week.

However, there are considerable challenges.

If unexpected injuries occur during the finals to key positions, NSW and Queensland want to have enough players in reserve to be able to pick back-ups.

But at the same time they are desperate not to give players false hope by asking them to prepare to be in camp before leaving them out of the final squad.

That could particularly be an issue for NSW, where the vast majority of their players will feature in the finals and could play in a grand final after the camp starts.

"It's really difficult to announce a train-on squad and include players in it who you don't move forward with into a final squad," NSWRL CEO David Trodden told AAP.

"Because anyone you nominate has to continue to observe biosecurity protocols.

"They're effectively precluded from engaging in whatever holiday pursuits they want to engage in outside of the NRL season."

Logistically there are also several challenges around planning camps.

NSW don't know if the state borders will remain closed for Game I in Adelaide and Game III in Brisbane, with a fly-in, fly-out scenario the current predicament.

There is some hope the South Australian border could open in coming weeks, while any call on Queensland's is unlikely to be made before the October 31 election.

Queensland's set-up has the benefit of an open border with South Australia, but they could still need to fly-in, fly-out under current rules.

Maroons players who live in NSW will likely be tested before they enter a tight bubble for the training camp expected to be on the Gold Coast.