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As he prepares to name his line-up for the State of Origin opener at ANZ Stadium, Laurie Daley has called on NSW’s critics to put aside their opinions and get behind the Blues.

With NSW having been thrashed 52-6 in last season’s decider at Suncorp Stadium, the lead-up to this year’s series has been dominated by criticism of the Blues halves and calls for Daley to dump veteran skipper Paul Gallen.

NSW’s most successful Origin coach, Phil Gould, a Channel Nine commentator and Fairfax columnist, has repeatedly called for Gallen’s axing during the past 12 months, while fellow commentator and former Blues great Peter Sterling said last week he could find no room for the 34-year-old in his team.

Daley, who has been involved in more Origins for NSW as a player and coach than anyone else, believes the criticism of Gallen is unwarranted, but he accepts that everyone is entitled to an opinion on team selections.

However, Daley wants the criticism to stop once the Blues side is announced on Monday and everyone with an interest in NSW beating Queensland to back his team.

“It disappoints me that once the team is selected everyone doesn’t just get on board,” Daley said. “Since I have been the coach I have felt the support for the NSW team, but I haven’t felt everyone doing it.

“I can cop everyone having their own opinions beforehand, because that is their job and everyone who loves footy has got an opinion and that is great, but when the team is selected you just want everyone to unite behind the team. That is all I ask for.

“I don’t care who it is, once the team is selected if you are a true NSW fan then get behind the team and support us and be proud of who we are.

“We are not going out there to lose, we are going out there to try and win and do the best we possibly can. Yes, we let a lot of people down in game III last year, but give us a chance.”

Daley insists he is yet to finalise the Blues side and said he had not been in regular contact with the players after some NRL club coaches expressed concerns about them being distracted by Origin.

“A number of coaches I spoke to thought it would be interfering with them and playing with their mind a bit so I laid off,” he said. “Some coaches were happy and some weren’t, so I haven’t had a lot of communication with players, other than when I have seen them around just to say G’day.”

With South Sydney’s Adam Reynolds set to wear the No.7 jersey for the first time, there are expected to be up to five debutants in the NSW team, giving Penrith the biggest representation if fullback Matt Moylan, winger Josh Mansour, back-rower Bryce Cartwright and utility Tyrone Peachey are all selected.

Besides the halves, the biggest talking points are whether veteran Parramatta back-rower Beau Scott is axed and the make-up of the bench, which is expected to include props James Tamou and David Klemmer.

Cartwright is vying for one spot with St George Illawarra’s Tyson Frizzel and Canterbury’s Josh Jackson if he is not selected ahead of Scott in the second row, while the other bench role is between Peachey and Cronulla’s Jack Bird.

Likely NSW team: Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Michael Jennings, Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson, James Maloney, Adam Reynolds, Paul Gallen, Robbie Farah, Aaron Woods, Boyd Cordner, Josh Jackson/Beau Scott, Greg Bird. Interchange: James Tamou, David Klemmer, Bryce Cartwright/Tyson Frizell, Jack Bird/Tyrone Peachey.

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