Daly Cherry-Evans’ decision to turn his back on the Gold Coast to stay with Manly could cost the star NRL playmaker a berth in the Queensland side for State of Origin II, NSW great Andrew Johns has suggested.
Cherry-Evans last week reneged on his multi-million dollar deal with the Titans to stick with the Sea Eagles long-term.
The premiership-winning halfback was roundly booed by the Suncorp Stadium crowd during Manly’s loss to Brisbane on Friday night in a general indication of fans feelings about Cherry-Evans’ contract betrayal, particularly in Queensland.
Maroons coach Mal Meninga has always been particular about the mood and atmosphere of the Queensland camp during his highly successful reign.
As a result of that, Johns told Channel Nine that Cherry-Evans’ highly criticised contract stance could influence Meninga’s selection policy for Origin II.
“It is very rare Queenslanders turn on their own, whether that comes into whether Mal Meninga picks him or not (I don’t know),” the rugby league Immortal and Manly assisant coach said.
“The way that the Queensland fans have responded and treated Daly when he went north, does that come into Mal Meninga’s head when he is picking him for camp?
“When Mal talks about the players he picks and what he wants in the camp, it’s all about attitude, morals and behaviours.
“It will be interesting to see what Mal is thinking.”
Cherry-Evans missed Queensland’s victory in Game I last month due to a shoulder injury. He was replaced on the Maroons bench for the ANZ Stadium encounter by North Queensland’s Michael Morgan.
Cherry-Evans returned from the injury in Manly’s loss to Brisbane.
Meninga on Tuesday announces his team for Origin II at MCG on June 17.
The former Queensland great has previously said Morgan’s impressive debut in Sydney has given him a selection dilemma as to the make-up of his interchange bench.