Paul Gallen says Brad Fittler's "rocks and diamonds" back line makes him nervous ahead of next week's State of Origin series opener in Melbourne.
Fittler confirmed on Monday night that James Tedesco would be the only surviving player from last year's back five, with wingers Josh Addo-Carr and Tom Trbojevic along with centres Latrell Mitchell and James Roberts the new faces.
There are particular concerns over Roberts' and Mitchell's defence heading into their debuts, given they will be marking Will Chambers and Greg Inglis respectively.
While former Blues captain Gallen said he was confident of a NSW series victory, he admitted to being concerned about the new-look back line.
"These guys up against this star studded back line makes me nervous," Gallen told the Nine Network's 100% Footy.
"The backline for NSW sure has speed and we want to get the ball to them early, but do you think Greg Inglis and Will Chambers are going to let them run around them and score?
"I would have had [Blake] Ferguson and [Josh] Dugan in the side as well. They are big bodies, they help the forwards get out of their own end, they are another kick option and they are good defensively as well.
"I think what happened last year [with the lengthy pub visit in camp] has totally gone against them and they are probably red-penned from Origin, maybe forever."
Gallen also raised concerns about the backs' ability to help work the ball out of their own end early in sets after Fittler moved away from bigger bodies in his back five.
The selections signified a change from former coach Laurie Daley, who preferred Ferguson, Dugan and the injured Josh Mansour in his backs.
"It's the way the game is at the moment [selecting bigger bodies]," Gallen said.
"Latrell Mitchell on the weekend didn't have a touch of the ball until the 56th minute. He had two carries the whole game.
"And that's not a bloke putting himself into the game. In Origin he has to put himself into the game."
It comes after Fittler backed his stance to select speedier players on Monday night, amid questions over their defence.
"Sometimes you've got to stop worrying about what they mightn't be great at and look at the things they are great at and go in with that attitude," Fittler said.
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