Inglis at fullback makes JT smile

The thought of unleashing Queensland’s Greg Inglis at fullback in next week’s State of Origin III in Brisbane agrees with teammate Johnathan Thurston.

“It puts a smile to my face,” Maroons pivot Thurston said.

The hulking Inglis will step up for injured No.1 Billy Slater (shoulder) in the must-win July 8 series decider at Suncorp Stadium.

In a bid to ensure Inglis receives more ball, Queensland coach Mal Meninga is considering rotating him and Darius Boyd between fullback and the wing in Origin III.

But Thurston backed Inglis to cause the most chaos for NSW from fullback after his Origin II display.

Inglis hit back from a quiet series opener marred by tonsillitis to amass 128m, seven tackle busts and an Origin record 16th try in Queensland’s 26-18 Origin II loss in Melbourne.

“He played there (fullback) last year for us and really kick-started our sets, so we will be looking for him to do that again for us,” Thurston said.

“He was great for us in game two but we need him to have another performance like that in game three.”

In a backline reshuffled due to Slater’s season ending injury, Inglis slots into fullback, Will Chambers is at centre and debutant Dane Gagai is on the wing for game three.

But arguably the biggest injection is returning halfback Cooper Cronk (knee).

Thurston admitted his halves partner was missed in June 18’s Origin II.

Daly Cherry-Evans was overlooked for Origin III after misfiring as stand-in halfback in Origin II.

“He’s been a part of the team for a while now,” Thurston said of Cronk.

“Everyone is very comfortable when he is in the team.

“We probably missed his kicking game in game two – it is a big bonus for us.”

North Queensland playmaker Michael Morgan’s versatility ensured he got the nod as bench utility over Cherry-Evans.

“He covers a number of positions,” Thurston said of Morgan.

“There are less disruptions with him in the team if one of our backs go down.”

Thurston said he was fully fit after skipping the Cowboys’ last NRL clash to rest a troublesome shoulder complaint.

Meanwhile, Meninga has played down injury concerns for Josh Papalii (knee), Matt Scott (neck) and Darius Boyd (groin).

Scott has not linked with the Queensland team yet, told instead to stay home in Townsville and receive neck treatment.

Scott, Boyd and Papalii are expected to begin training at Queensland’s Gold Coast Origin camp by Thursday.

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