NSW named their line-up for the State of Origin opener, and now all eyes are on Queensland and who the Maroons will pick for Wednesday’s week-long game.
New coach Paul Green and his selectors have big decisions to make, with a number of all-star erased or in doubt and racing against the clock to play.
Courier Mail’s Peter Badel Says He Could See The Maroon name a team of 20 players in alphabetical order due to the uncertainty surrounding the composition of the side.
The biggest question mark is around the spine – the most important part of a rugby league team.
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Superstar five-eighth Cameron Munster is fighting a foot injury.
Badel believes Munster will be named to the squad on Monday, but might not be in shape in time for the first game.
“There is a controversy surrounding Cameron Munster. I believe he will be appointed at this point, ”said Badel Big league wrap.
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“The Maroons selectors are meeting with coach Paul Green as we speak, so it’s been a marathon meeting tonight (Sunday).
“They have real issues to sort out … I think they’ll pick Cameron Munster, in order to give him every chance to play Origin I.
“I spoke to Munster on Friday… he said it was a huge risk to pick him, but that he would do anything to play if he was picked by Paul Green. In his own words, he thinks he’s very unlikely to play.
If Munster is ruled out, Green must decide how to structure his spine.
The most likely option appears to be to move Kalyn Ponga from full-back to five-eighth, although Ponga is struggling with a groin problem and was ruled out by Newcastle on Sunday.
“Ponga is probably the replacement at this point, but he’s currently suffering from a groin injury so he might not be right,” Badel said.
“Otherwise, you have AJ Brimson, although he suffered a minor blow today against the Sharks, he seems to think it’s just bone bruises and he’ll be fine.
“I guess there is Ben hunt, Corey norman would be an external chance. But Ben Hunt is versatile, I know Paul Green likes him like a 14 so don’t be surprised if he sneaks sideways onto the bench.
AJ Brimson suffered a knee blow on Sunday, but he’s confident he’ll be fit to make it to camp.
Also in the spine there are question marks around the point of the bitch.
Harry grant is battling a hamstring injury and should be named to the bench in an effort to get him back into action.
This means, according to Badel in the Courier Mail, that the Parramatta rake Reed mahoney will win his first cap.
Mahoney has come out of the clouds and denounced the door for the past two seasons.
In the front pack, Felise Kaufusi is disputing a trigger charge in the hopes that it will be available.
Badel says the Maroons will face serious problems if Kaufusi is erased.
Badel said backrower of South Sydney Jaydn Su’a will be named to the bench, but will be called up to the starting squad if Kaufusi fails in his bid for justice.
“They don’t have a lot of back end options so if Su’a gets into the starting camp they’re running out of options forward on the bench and they’re probably going to have to look to intermediate forwards such as Jarrod wallace, Coen hess… even Dunamis Him,” he said.
“They are a bit thin in the attackers.”
PROBABLE QLD TEAM
1. Kalyn Ponga / AJ Brimson
2. Xavier Coates
3. Dane Gagai
4. Kurt Capewell / Valentine Holmes / AJ Brimson
5. Valentine Holmes / Kyle Feldt
6. Cameron Munster / Ben Hunt / Kalyn Ponga
7. Daly Cherry-Evans
8. Christian Welch
9. Reed Mahoney / Harry Grant
10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui / Jai Arrow
11. Felise Kaufusi
12. David Fifita
13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui / Jai Arrow
14. Reed Mahoney / Harry Grant
15. Moeaki Fotuaika
16. Kurt Capewell / Joe Ofahengaue / Coen Hess / Jaydn Su’A / Jarrod Wallace
17. Kurt Capewell / Joe Ofahengaue / Coen Hess / Jaydn Su’A / Jarrod Wallace