Qld squad chasing Origin series win

THE QUEENSLAND SQUAD WHICH CAN SEAL A TENTH ORIGIN SERIES WIN IN THE PAST 11 YEARS WITH A GAME TWO WIN:

Fullback – Darius Boyd

Age: 28 Origins: 24

Relished being handed the No.1 jersey for Origin I, and with his NRL efforts rivalling his career-best 2010 form, has earned Darren Lockyer comparisons from Wayne Bennett.

Winger – Corey Oates

Age: 21 Origins: 1

The towering former backrower is expected to enjoy a dry Suncorp Stadium track after receiving a crash course in Origin in a typically tough game one arm wrestle on debut in Sydney.

Centre – Greg Inglis

Age: 29 Origins: 28

Still to silence the critics after failing to fire South Sydney in the NRL. The Maroons will need to get Origin’s leading try scorer involved early if they want their sleeping giant to finally wake.

Centre – Justin O’Neill

Age: 25 Origins: 1

Some debate over whether he should have remained on the field after a head knock but showed no sign of distress in game one, setting up Queensland’s only try with quick hands and looking at home in defence.

Winger – Dane Gagai

Age: 25 Origins: 2

Overcame an emotional week in which he farewelled his grandmother to stand tall for the Maroons in game one. Will be keen to repeat last year’s spectacular Origin debut in their record 52-6 game three romp.

Five-eighth – Johnathan Thurston

Age: 33 Origins: 34

Is there anything Thurston can’t do? The Cowboys playmaker appears as unstoppable as ever after successfully lobbying Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for a new stadium in Townsville.

Halfback – Cooper Cronk

Age: 32 Origins: 17

Added to his legend by somehow overcoming a rolled ankle days before game one to help inspire Queensland’s opening 6-4 with an astute kicking game.

Prop – Matt Scott

Age: 30 Origins: 20

Queensland’s No.1 forward will have even more pressure to lift against NSW’s Gallen-led monster pack after the loss of Nate Myles (knee).

Hooker – Cameron Smith (captain)

Age: 32 Origins: 37

Outright Origin games record holder, undisputed Maroons leader and rugby league great. Will ensure there is no complacency as they look to seal series No.10 in 11 years.

Prop – Josh McGuire

Age: 26 Origins: 3

Down and out last year with a ruptured Achilles, McGuire has suddenly emerged as one of the country’s elite front-rowers. Superior mobility and footwork helped him match NSW’s much bigger brutes in Sydney.

Second row – Matt Gillett

Age: 27 Origins: 13

Hard running backrower with superb hands, Gillett has suddenly become one of the first picked by Queensland selectors after career-best form for Brisbane.

Second row – Sam Thaiday

Age: 31 Origins: 26

May have made biggest game one impact with post match comment on live TV, but the mobile backrower still looms as a handful for NSW – especially against a tiring pack.

Lock – Corey Parker

Age: 34 Origins: 17

May now be sporting grey hair but Parker is hardly slowing down, negotiating a two-year Brisbane contract extension that will means he could taunt NSW until at least 2018.

Interchange:

Michael Morgan

Age: 24 Origins: 4

Will be out to make up for lost time after copping a head knock and taken from the field early in game one. Even still, he made a bigger impact than NSW utility Dylan Walker.

Aidan Guerra

Age: 28 Origins: 7

Considered fortunate to retain his spot for game one, Nate Myles’ injury may have given Guerra another reprieve for the second. Loyalty ensured his selection – time for out of form Guerra to repay it.

Josh Papalii

Age: 24 Origins: 5

Canberra juggernaut will be out to ensure a memorable Suncorp Stadium Origin swansong for sparring partner Paul Gallen in game two.

Jacob Lillyman

Age: 32 Origins: 11

Unlucky to be the only incumbent overlooked for game one, the Warriors forward is a ready-made pack replacement for hard head Myles for Origin II.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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