New South Wales skipper Paul Gallen has been officially ruled out of the State of Origin series-opener at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday week.
Gallen has been sidelined from the NRL with a hip injury for a month and reached an agreement with Blues coach Laurie Daley that he would not play on May 27 against Queensland.
“After talking, Gal and I decided it is in the best interests of the team to get the injury healed,” Daley said.
“It was a really difficult decision for us both to come to because Gal, as captain, is such an important part of our team, and he places such a high value on playing for New South Wales.”
Gallen last missed a game for the Blues in the deciding match of the 2013 series, when he succumbed to a foot injury.
NSW eventually went down 12-10, giving Queensland their eighth-straight series win.
Since making his interstate debut in 2006, the 33-year-old has played 19 games for NSW, including 13 of the past 14 matches.
Hooker Robbie Farah is expected to captain the side, while James Tamou and Andrew Fifita will come into contention to replace Gallen’s spot in the run-on side.
Daley will announce the team in Sydney on Tuesday ahead of the series opener.