The door has been left open for Greg Inglis to remain as Queensland fullback after the South Sydney star’s Kangaroos resurgence.
Brisbane’s Darius Boyd was tipped to wear the Maroons No.1 jersey in next month’s State of Origin series opener in Sydney after being named as Kangaroos fullback for the trans-Tasman Test.
But rookie Maroons coach Kevin Walters said Inglis’ “outstanding” display in the Kangaroos centres in the 16-0 win over New Zealand had ensured plenty of food for thought ahead of the June 1 Origin opener.
“I am not leaning any way at the moment,” Walters said of his preference for fullback.
“Those guys (Boyd, Inglis) are going to be in the team, it’s just a matter of where we put them.”
Carrying a niggling knee complaint, Inglis has endured a quiet NRL season start at fullback with an equally indifferent South Sydney.
But the veteran relished being back in the green and gold – albeit in the centres – outside the Rabbitohs pressure cooker last week.
Walters expected the Maroons jersey to have the same effect on Inglis next month.
“I thought he was outstanding for Australia last Friday night,” he said.
“I have been happy with him all season despite what people have been saying.
“He rises to the occasion when required.”
Walters must run the rule over his entire backline after the loss of fullback Billy Slater (shoulder), Will Chambers (foot) and fellow centre Justin Hodges (retirement).
Inglis is the incumbent Maroons fullback after filling in admirably for an injured Slater in their record 52-6 Origin III romp last year.
Former Queensland hardman Gorden Tallis believed the final word on whether Inglis should remain at fullback should be left to the man himself.
“I think it is Greg’s decision with no Billy,” he said.
“Greg has worn the No.1 in the past.
“(Kangaroos coach) Mal (Meninga) wanted a different make-up but I think Greg still has one hand on the jersey.
“Darius doesn’t let anyone down.
“He’s a totally different player but both would do a fantastic job.”
The Queensland team for June 1’s Origin opener will be named in a fortnight.