Representative forward Aidan Guerra faces an uncertain future at Sydney Roosters after being dumped from the Tricolours side for their NRL clash with North Queensland.
Guerra played all three games in Queensland’s State of Origin series triumph this year, but has been well down on form for the Roosters.
The star back-rower admitted in camp for the Maroons that he feared being dropped after Origin I due to his disappointing NRL form.
Guerra put in arguably his worst effort of the season in the Roosters’ round 22 loss to Penrith on Monday, a performance that forced the hand of coach Trent Robinson.
The 28-year-old has been named as 18th man for Sunday’s match with the Cowboys.
Mitchell Aubusson has been preferred in the back row, with Isaac Liu and Ryan Matterson named on the bench ahead of the one-time Kangaroos representative.
Robinson has shown he’s moving to shake up his squad ahead of next season, with just four games remaining in 2016.
Kiwis prop Sam Moa is off contract and appears unlikely to be retained, and the 2013 premiership-winning coach has indicated it’s also unlikely Jackson Hastings will be under contract at Bondi next season.
There have been suggestions Guerra, who is under contract through 2017, could be moved on as well.
NSW star Boyd Cordner backed Robinson’s decision to axe Guerra.
“The hardest thing about being coach is making those decisions,” Cordner said on Wednesday.
“Everyone respects Robbo here at the club, so whatever his decision is we back him 100 per cent of the way.
“I am sure there is a reason behind it. We are just looking at finishing the season off on a high and getting some momentum heading into next year.”
Commentators blamed Guerra directly for three of the tries the Roosters allowed in their 38-18 loss to the Panthers.
But Cordner said Guerra would be fighting to return to first grade.
“He is a professional, I’m sure he will understand. It has been tough on the side losing games,” Cordner said.
“He is a class act, he is an Origin player, he has played for his country. I am sure he will work hard to get back into the team.”