Former NSW enforcer Mark Geyer has predicted dire consequences for Blues coach Laurie Daley if he fails to win this year's Origin series.
Asked how Daley had kept his job after a 46-point defeat in last year's decider, Geyer said the Blues mentor - who has a 4-5 win-loss record but only one series win (2014) - had an axe hanging over his head.
"I dare say that if he loses this series we'll see another Origin coach," Geyer said on Triple M.
But Geyer was positive the Blues players - a number of which were also offered a reprieve when Daley named his squad on Monday - were ready to respond.
"As a player if I played in that third game last year - and I was on the end of a really big flogging in my very first game for the Blues in '89 - all you want is some redemption," he said.
"That's kind of where they're going. I think we're going to match Queensland in the forward pack, there's no doubt about that. But it's this dynamic backline that Queensland will pick today with big Corey Oates on one wing and Dane Gagai on the other, Inglis in the centres ... It's a juggernaut."
Geyer said he was excited about the potential of this year's squad with one exception - Manly's Dylan Walker in the utility role.
"That's one of the most left-field selections I've seen for a long time," Geyer said. "You could have had Jack Bird (or) Blake Austin - just to name two (who could have played) off the bench as a utility. Dylan Walker has had a quiet year by his standards even at Manly, let alone to be thrust into the Origin arena. That's probably the only selection I suppose that's causing a bit of grief down here.
"Text message after text message was saying 'Dylan Walker ... how?'" he added.
Fellow former Blues player Matthew Johns was also surprised at Walker's selection, despite agreeing with the move to pick a utility for the bench.
"The talking point yesterday was Dylan Walker, of course. That one was a bolt from the blue," Johns said.
"I like the fact we're copying Queensland, and we are with that (No.) 14 jersey ... (by selecting) a light weight player who can play a number of positions.
"I thought it would have gone to Jack Bird ... he has been in better form than Dylan Walker.
"At the end of the day we've all got our opinions, we'll get a clearer picture in hindsight. A coach lives and dies by his results, not his selections."
Johns made a bold call for his game one Blues hero, predicting Panthers fullback Matt Moylan would cover himself in glory.
"With 20 minutes to go the game will be alive and there'll be a couple of points in it. And the question for me is who is going to be the game-winner?" Johns said.
"Because we've got a lot of blokes who will keep us in the contest. For mine, when I look at the football side, the most important player out there who will win us the game is Matt Moylan. I really think he's made of that special stuff. I think at the end of this series he'll be elevated into that real superstar status."
New South Wales Blues Squad
Matt Moylan, Blake Ferguson, Josh Dugan, Michael Jennings, Josh Mansour, James Maloney, Adam Reynolds, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, Paul Gallen (c), Boyd Cordner, Josh Jackson, Greg Bird, Dylan Walker, James Tamou, Andrew Fifita, David Klemmer, Tyson Frizell, Josh Morris.