Queensland veteran Nate Myles will be drafted immediately back into the Maroons’ line up for State of Origin III should he make a shock recovery from a knee injury.
While the 31-year-old prop is not expected back for another three weeks, Queensland coach Kevin Walters revealed he is a 50-50 chance to be fit for the July 13 dead rubber at ANZ Stadium.
After being injured in the Sea Eagles’ round-14 loss to Penrith, the 30-game Origin veteran missed the Maroons’ series-sealing win in Origin II.
He is considered long odds to be fit for Manly’s clash against St George Illawarra on Monday, but even if he doesn’t take to Brookvale Oval, Walters said that wouldn’t necessarily rule him out of calculations of Origin III in two weeks.
“If he’s fit to play, he’ll be playing for sure,” Walters told Fox Sports.
“I haven’t made a decision on who’s not going to be playing, but Nate Myles deserves every opportunity to prove his fitness, given what he’s done for Queensland over the past 10 years.
“We’ll see what happens, but he’s only 50-50 of being fit, after speaking with him today.”
Despite a quiet performance in Origin I, and some lukewarm form for Manly this year, Walters said he would not be dropping Myles if he was available.
He was replaced by Warriors prop Jacob Lillyman for Origin II, and Walters said Myles would come into consideration as a replacement for injured bench utility Michael Morgan and was mulling over a four-forward bench rotation.
Walters also said Ben Barba was being watched by the Queensland selectors after his return to form with the table-topping Cronulla in 2016.