The NSW State of Origin duo look UNRECOGNIZED in incredible throwback photos… as the pair look to roll back the years and wreak havoc in Queensland again

New South Wales will deploy a new halves partnership in the first Origin game of the season after the Blues were rocked by Nathan Cleary’s injury.

However, fans worried about any initial issues between the pair need not fear as Nicho Hynes and Jarome Luai formed an «untouchable» partnership in their formative years.

Sharks star Hynes and Penrith half Luai enjoyed incredible success together in their high school football days, with the duo causing havoc in Queensland in rep matches.

The pair played in a team made up of youngsters who would go on to play in the top grade, with Hynes and Luai recognized as two of the best defenders in the NRL today.

New unseen photos of the couple from their younger years have appeared. Hynes played for Peninsula Junior Touch football and looked carefree for many years before winning the Dally M Medal in 2022.

The halfback will be hoping to wreak havoc in Queensland in this year’s Origin series

He will link up with the Penrith star to take on the Maroons

He will link up with the Penrith star to take on the Maroons

Luai is seen wearing his trademark wide smile and has grown significantly since his teenage years.

«Jarome and I played touch footy for NSW back in the day when we were in high school so we’ve known each other for a long time,» Hynes said.

“I was 15 and he might have been 14. We actually beat Queensland in the grand final in that touch game so hopefully we can do the same.

«It’s good to renew that relationship because we haven’t really combined on the pitch for a long time, so I’m looking forward to it.

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“I think we can continue to build our relationship off the field and it will change on the field. He is a great person and has a lot of energy. I feel I have some energy as well, so hopefully we can build on that.»

New NSW coach Michael Maguire has been tasked with ending Queensland’s two-year reign as Origin champions and has put his faith in Hynes and Luai to become the partnership that will unlock the stubborn Maroons’ defence.

Luai will play in the halves next Wednesday
Hynes wants to make an impact in Sydney

Jarome Luai (left) and Nicho Hynes (right) have plenty of chemistry from their junior years

«We’ve represented NSW at all school levels in our contact days so we’ve had some connections in the past so it’s pretty cool to see where we are now on the biggest stage of our game,» Luai said.

“I’m pretty excited to rekindle what we had back then, but whatever happens, we’ll take it one day at a time.

“We were untouchable in those days.

“We had a touch of arms with the likes of Matt Dufty, Jackson Hastings and Bevan French. I was easily (the slowest on the team), but it’s pretty cool to remember those days.”

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