Queensland fans may finally forgive Daly Cherry-Evans for his Gold Coast contract backflip if he makes a successful State of Origin return, Lote Tuqiri says.
Two weeks after being booed at Queensland’s homeground, Cherry-Evans was welcomed back into the Maroons camp with open arms after halfback Cooper Cronk rolled his ankle at training on Friday.
Initial scan results are encouraging for Cronk and it was hoped aggressive treatment would give him a chance to play the Origin series opener in Sydney on Wednesday night.
However, Cherry-Evans remains on standby after being rushed into the Maroons’ Gold Coast camp on Friday night.
A call-up at Cronk’s expense would cap a remarkable Origin comeback – and maybe earn forgiveness from fickle fans.
Cherry-Evans was Queensland’s starting halfback in Origin II last year – albeit as an injured Cronk’s replacement.
But by game three he was overlooked completely, failing to even nab a bench utility role.
Cherry-Evans also did not endear himself with Queensland fans after his infamous Gold Coast Titans contract backflip last year.
It ensured he was booed when he ran out for Manly in their NRL loss to Brisbane at Maroons homeground Suncorp Stadium barely two weeks ago.
But ex-Maroons flyer Tuqiri believed a successful return may just end the jeers for Cherry-Evans from the Queensland faithful.
“They (Queensland fans) have memories like elephants,” Tuqiri told Triple M Radio.
“They don’t soon forget.
“But they appreciate success. And if Cherry-Evans is in a successful Queensland team maybe that will bring an end (to the boos).”
Cherry-Evans had been expected to attend training on Friday after being asked along with other fringe players to take part in the opposed session.
But he was a no-show along with fellow Sea Eagle Brenton Lawrence after they were stranded at Sydney airport due to strong winds.
Cherry-Evans was initially only asked to attend the Friday session and had been required back at Manly by Sunday.
However, Cherry-Evans looks set to extend his stay after the injury drama.
“I haven’t had time to think about those (contingencies) yet but yeah DCE is coming in,” Walters said.
“But he’s been stranded on the tarmac in Sydney.
“The winds of NSW were blowing. Bloody Blues got us again.”