Debate is raging about whether he deserves a State of Origin farewell but Queensland are preparing for Paul Gallen to prove his worth in next week’s series finale.
The NSW skipper will play his last Origin game in the dead rubber at ANZ Stadium, aiming to avoid a 16th loss to the Maroons in what will be his 24th appearance for the Blues.
Maroons champion Greg Inglis says criticism of Gallen in the wake of NSW’s game-two loss in Brisbane has been unfair.
He says Queensland are fully expecting the 34-year-old to be on fire when game three kicks off next Wednesday.
“He’s going to come out firing, without doubt,” Inglis said.
“He’s copped some unfair criticism over the last few weeks.
“He’s their leader and he does lead them very well.
“We know they’re going to be up for it and we’ve just got to go down and put a good Queensland performance in.”
The Maroons arrived on the Gold Coast on Wednesday to begin their preparations in earnest as they chased a series clean sweep.
Melbourne’s Felise Kaufusi has been named as the Maroons’ 18th man and will join the team on Friday in camp.
Debutant Gavin Cooper will link up with the squad on Thursday after staying in Townsville for the birth of his second child.
The North Queensland back-rower’s selection in place of injured Josh Papalii has been welcomed by Inglis.
“Gavin’s an extremely good back-rower … he’s 30-years-old and making his Origin debut,” Inglis said.
“It’s a credit to him and what he’s done for North Queensland as well.”
Veteran forward Nate Myles is also expected to train on Thursday as he continues to try to prove his fitness for game three.
The 31-year-old missed game two with a knee injury, not playing a match since Manly’s NRL loss on June 12 to Penrith.
Inglis, however, believes Myles will be fit to take part in what will be his 31st Origin.
“It’s great to have Nate back. He’s been an important member of this squad,” he said.