New South Wales were coached by former Canberra, NSW and Australia captain Laurie Daley for a second consecutive year.
After missing out from the second and third games from last year due to injury, Jarryd Hayne returned to the side to reclaim his fullback role over Josh Dugan.
Daniel Tupou will be the second debutant in the side to partner his Roosters team mate Michael Jennings on the left edge, with Brett Morris switching to the other side to be alongside his twin brother Josh.
Beau Scott was recalled into the side in the starting second-row after being overlooked from last year's series.
The 2014 State of Origin series was the 34th time the annual best-of-three series between the Queensland and New South Wales rugby league teams has been played entirely under 'state of origin' rules (19 were only 1 game series).
It is the second series to be administered by the Australian Rugby League Commission which was created in a major restructure of the sport's administration in Australia.
Originally, New South Wales were to host two home matches this year, however the ARLC Commission announced in November 2012 a new five-year cycle which would see Queensland instead host two home matches this year, as well as in 2017, the Blues to host two home matches in 2016 and the remaining match in 2015 to be hosted at a neutral venue (later named to be the 100,024 capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground).Former Canberra, Queensland and Australian captain Mal Meninga remained as coach of the Queensland side, having won all eight previous editions dating back to 2006.Breaking usual tradition, the Queensland squad was announced before New South Wales.Changes to the team were largely minor with Matt Gillett earning his first promotion to the starting side to replace the injured Sam Thaiday in the second-row whilst Aidan Guerra from the Sydney Roosters makes his debut from the bench.The halves combination for New South Wales were once again modified, with Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs pairing Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson (making his debut) replacing the Roosters and incumbent halves pairing of James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce.Pearce, who played in every game as halfback since the second match of the 2010 series and held the record for consecutive matches in the position, was omitted largely due to him being arrested at a Kings Cross nightclub for drunken misbehaviour.