Brett Stewart has won the race for the contentious NSW fullback spot, edging out Josh Dugan to end a four-year absence from rugby league's State of Origin series.
The 27-year-old Manly star will wear the Blues jersey against Queensland in the May 23 opening encounter in Melbourne in his first appearance since game three of the 2008 series.
Coach Ricky Stuart declined to name his starting team until after Monday night's NRL match, announcing only his 17-man squad tonight.
But Stewart is set to play at fullback after Canberra star Dugan was overlooked.
Robbie Farah will take the hooker role, Stuart preferring the Wests Tigers skipper to Michael Ennis who had held the spot since the third match in 2009.
Penrith centre Michael Jennings becomes the first player in almost 30 years to be chosen from reserve grade to represent NSW.
Parramatta's No.1 Jarryd Hayne is expected to play on the wing.
Stuart will hand debuts to Cronulla's Todd Carney, North Queensland's James Tamou and Manly utility Jamie Buhrer, who's the surprise call-up.
Manly's giant Test backrower Tony Williams is also included for the first time despite having spent the past six weeks on the sidelines as he serves a seven-game ban for a lifting tackle.
NSW squad (in alphabetical order): Greg Bird, Jamie Buhrer, Todd Carney, Ben Creagh, Robbie Farah, Paul Gallen (capt), Jarryd Hayne, Michael Jennings, Luke Lewis, Trent Merrin, Josh Morris, Mitchell Pearce, Brett Stewart, Glenn Stewart, James Tamou, Tony Williams, Akila Uate.