Queensland playmaker Cameron Munster is expecting NSW to exploit Penrith's lethal player combinations and pick Stephen Crichton for his State of Origin debut.
With incumbents Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic ruled out through injury, Blues coach Brad Fittler is on the hunt for a new centre pairing for the opening Origin in Sydney on June 8.
Fittler will name his squad on Sunday night, with Penrith's Crichton and Brisbane's Kotoni Staggs favoured to make their debut.
While Mitchell and Trbojevic are two of the game's best, Munster told AAP the depth in the NSW player ranks means their absence won't make the centres a vulnerability.
He thought premiership three-quarter Crichton would get the nod given Penrith halves Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai, winger Brian To'o, second-rower Liam Martin and lock Isaah Yeo are all expected to be in the starting side.
"There's a very, very talented pool in NSW and they've got Stephen Crichton and he's playing some in-form footy for the Panthers," said Munster, following Melbourne's 28-8 win over Manly.
"They might go that avenue due to the fact that they will have Cleary and maybe (Liam) Martin on that edge and having an all Panthers edge wouldn't be a bad idea for them so I'm sure they've been looking at that."
Crichton is only 21 but has already clocked over 60 NRL games and two grand finals, including a 2020 loss to Munster's Melbourne.
The Panthers, including tryscorer Crichton, towelled up the Storm 32-6 in their Magic Round clash earlier this month.
Munster said his age wasn't a barrier given his experience on the big stage.
"He's a very confident kid, Crichton, I've played against him a fair bit and he's a very good player.
"I'm sure if he does get his opportunity, he will take it."
Munster was also expecting to see North Queensland's Valentine Holmes get his first State of Origin start in the centres.
Holmes has played on the wing in all but three of his 10 appearances for the Maroons when he has been fullback.
But this season the 26-year-old has been reinvented by Cowboys coach Todd Payten as a centre to help steer the team into third spot on the NRL ladder.
"There was obviously a lot of question marks on where Val should play whether it be fullback or wing ... but Todd Payten has seen a lot of good in him in centres and he'd be one of the most in-form centres in the competition," Munster said.
"He's earned his position so whether Bill (coach Billy Slater) decides to go that way, I'm not entirely sure but I know he's definitely put his hand up to play centre."