Cherry-Evans in Origin doubt

Queensland utility Daly Cherry-Evans is in doubt for next week’s State of Origin series opener due to a shoulder injury.

Maroons officials are waiting on the result of scans later on Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury, which Cherry-Evans suffered playing for Manly in their NRL loss to Penrith on Monday night.

Coach Mal Meninga said no potential replacement has been called in for Cherry-Evans yet, although that could change once the scans are returned.

Brisbane prop Josh McGuire was the only debutant selected in the Queensland team, named on the bench for the clash at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on May 27.

McGuire earned a nod ahead of Sydney Roosters hard-hitting prop Dylan Napa who has been invited into the Maroons camp as 18th man.

McGuire will be joined on the interchange by Matt Gillett, who has kept out Canberra’s Josh Papalii, while – subject to fitness – Cherry-Evans retained the bench utility role ahead of challenges from Brisbane’s Ben Hunt and Cowboys pivot Michael Morgan.

Meninga stuck with the tried and true, allowing them the chance to reclaim the Origin trophy after having their eight-series winning run broken last year.

In a shot in the arm, Queensland’s captain Cameron Smith is free to play game one after lodging an early guilty plea to a dangerous contact charge from Melbourne’s last round NRL win over South Sydney.

The series will mark the representative swan song of veteran centre Justin Hodges.

The Broncos skipper, who turns 33 later this month, announced earlier this season that he would retire from representative football at the end of the year.

There is speculation over whether he will play at all next year.

Queensland: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Will Chambers, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith (capt), Nate Myles, Aidan Guerra, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange: Daly Cherry-Evans, Jacob Lillyman, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire. 18th man: Dylan Napa.

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