Gagai cleared for Origin despite injury

Officially, Dane Gagai has been cleared to play for Queensland in Wednesday night’s State of Origin III in Sydney.

But the Newcastle flyer admits he will need to monitor a quad complaint for the rest of the NRL season.

Gagai joined the Maroons main training squad for the first time at their Gold Coast camp on Sunday after passing a fitness test.

Veteran prop Nate Myles (knee) also received the green light for game three from Maroons coach Kevin Walters after training strongly on Sunday.

However, Gagai admitted the quad injury that also hampered his game two preparation would not go away any time soon.

“I will do my best to be 100 per cent by Wednesday but I am right to go (for game three),” Gagai said.

“After this game I can monitor it a bit better.

“Hopefully I will get rid of this by the end of the season.”

Gagai said he had not contemplated risking further injury by running out for Queensland at ANZ Stadium.

“I am confident of running on it and there are three days to go to game day,” Gagai said.

“These physios know what they are doing.”

Gagai had been restricted to sideline drills all last week before finally joining the Maroons main group on Sunday.

But Gagai said he had gained confidence from his game two heroics.

The Maroons winger was again restricted to light duties before game two but still became just the fourth Queenslander to nab an Origin hat-trick, inspiring a 26-16 win.

If he scores a double on Wednesday night, Gagai will take his try series tally to a record six, eclipsing the previous mark shared by NSW’s Ryan Girdler (five in 2002) and Queensland’s Lote Tuqiri (five in 2000).

“He is not 100 per cent, he is still feeling a bit of pain there but he will be right by Wednesday night,” Walters said of Gagai.

Myles, 31, is a confirmed starter in Queensland’s front row after missing game two due to the injury.

Walters said he would not hesitate thrusting the 30 Origin veteran into the starting front row as the Maroons look to seal a fifth series whitewash.

Queensland have already clinched their 10th series win in 11 years.

Walters is aiming to become just the third Origin coach to sweep a series on debut.

“On Wednesday night we know it is going to be a forward dominated game and Nate is one of those players who enjoys playing in that arena,” Walters said.

“He has had a couple of weeks out and he assures us he will be fine.”

Queensland will leave for Sydney on Monday afternoon.

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