Qld penpix for State of Origin III

Queensland penpix ahead of Wednesday’s third State of Origin rugby league match against NSW at ANZ Stadium.

Fullback – Darius Boyd

Age: 28 Origins: 25

Has revelled in the switch to fullback for Queensland this year. Rock solid as last line of defence, constant threat in attack.

Winger – Corey Oates

Age: 21 Origins: 2

Will be monitored after being concussed in last NRL match for Brisbane. Former backrower came of age as Origin winger when he scored his maiden Maroons try – the game two matchwinner.

Centre – Greg Inglis

Age: 29 Origins: 29

Origin’s leading try-scorer may be out of sorts but he did enough to see off Dylan Walker. Now for his next trick – stopping the returning Josh Dugan.

Centre – Justin O’Neill

Age: 25 Origins: 2

May not be flashy but the Cowboys’ defensive centre gets the job done. Already looks at home in Maroon despite quiet second game.

Winger – Dane Gagai

Age: 25 Origins: 3

Became only fourth Queenslander to notch an Origin hat-trick in series-sealing game two win. Game breaker – if he can get past Tyson Frizell again.

Five-eighth – Johnathan Thurston

Age: 33 Origins: 35

Immortal-in-waiting warmed up for Origin III with his year’s best display, all but ending South Sydney’s NRL finals hopes. Now he wants to break NSW hearts.

Halfback – Cooper Cronk

Age: 32 Origins: 18

The glue that keeps the team together. Organised and armed with a sublime kicking game. Also no stranger to pulling off a medical miracle.

Prop – Matt Scott

Age: 30 Origins: 21

The leader of the Queensland pack faces arguably his greatest Origin assignment to date – blunting the NSW forwards aiming to send out retiring NSW skipper Paul Gallen a winner.

Hooker – Cameron Smith (captain)

Age: 33 Origins: 38

Outright Origin games record holder is determined not to let a rare series clean sweep slip through Queensland’s grasp.

Prop – Josh McGuire

Age: 26 Origins: 4

The former Samoan hooker has come of age as Queensland prop this year. Expected to keep his front row starting spot even if veteran Nate Myles (knee) proves his fitness.

Second row – Matt Gillett

Age: 27 Origins: 14

Hard-hitting backrower with impressive line speed and ball skills. Dubbed “the best forward in the world” by Gorden Tallis. Enough said.

Second row – Sam Thaiday

Age: 31 Origins: 27

The joker in the Maroons pack. Will need to get serious in Origin III after just 51 metres in game two. Back from two-match ban for dangerous throw on Paul Gallen in Origin II.

Lock – Corey Parker

Age: 34 Origins: 18

Last Origin for retiring veteran backrower. Queensland were already motivated enough to clinch a fifth series whitewash – but this was the clincher.

Interchange:

Aidan Guerra

Age: 28 Origins: 8

Starting spot up for grabs next year following Parker’s retirement. Time for out-of-sorts Guerra to put his hand up.

Jacob Lillyman

Age: 32 Origins: 12

Hulking Warriors forward made the most of his game two call-up, making 93 metres off the bench.

Nate Myles

Age: 31 Origins: 30

Must pass fitness test on knee. Reckons it’s not his last Origin. Final chance to line up against old foe Paul Gallen.

Gavin Cooper

Age: 30 Origins: Debut

Lanky backrower thought his Origin “ship had sailed”. But in his 11th NRL season and after 225 games, Cooper finally earns his Queensland debut.

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