TEST stars Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon will spearhead NSW in the top-of-the-table Sheffield Shield clash against Queensland at North Dalton Park, starting on Saturday.
NSW named their team, featuring Ulladulla's Matthew Gilkes, on Thursday morning, with Kurtis Patterson captain.
Patterson replaces regular skipper Peter Nevill, who is absent awaiting the impending birth of his second child.
It's a crucial battle in the Shield with the winner guaranteed a spot in the final and hosting rights later this month.
Queensland are on top of the standings on 30.84 points, with NSW second on 29.01 and Western Australia still in contention on 27.68.
At 20, left-handed batsman Lachlan Hearne will make his debut.
"It's a great opportunity for Kurtis to lead a young group of players," NSW head of male cricket Michael Klinger said.
"He is a highly respected member of the squad and we are looking forward to him taking on the challenge.
"Lachie has earned his place in the Blues squad with a string of very good performances.
"This is a great opportunity for a player who has come through the NSW pathway and performed well in both Premier Cricket and 2nd XI cricket."
The Blues are also missing Sean Abbott, who suffered a hand injury in the loss to Tasmania, as well as Nick Larkin and Daniel Solway, plus Test talent Steve Smith and Dave Warner.
Queensland have included Australian middle-order star Marnus Labuschagne, who hit 134 in a Shield match at North Dalton Park in 2018, as the Bulls hit back from a 159-run first innings deficit to beat NSW outright.
NSW v QUEENSLAND
Starting Saturday, North Dalton Park, 10am
NSW: Kurtis Patterson (c), Harry Conway, Trent Copeland, Jack Edwards, Matthew Gilkes, Liam Hatcher, Lachlan Hearne, Baxter Holt, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Jason Sangha, Mitchell Starc.
Queensland: Usman Khawaja (c), Xavier Bartlett, Joe Burns, Brendan Doggett, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan McSweeney, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Matt Renshaw, Billy Stanlake, Bryce Street, Mitchell Swepson.