QUEENSLAND’S FULLBACK CONUNDRUM WITH BILLY SLATER RULED OUT OF STATE OF ORIGIN III
SCENARIO 1 – Greg Inglis to fullback
The most obvious choice would be to move Inglis, who was back to his best in Origin II, to fullback. The Maroons have a ready-made centre replacement in Will Chambers moving in off the wing, and they then just need to find a new winger.
Pros: Inglis may just be the best fullback in the game, the Maroons lose little in having him there, and may actually be a little more dangerous and unpredictable.
Cons: Maroons would be splitting up one of their biggest strengths – the left edge of Inglis and Darius Boyd, which has delivered 33 Origin tries, most of which had come as a combination on the left. Also, who plays left centre as both Chambers and Justin Hodges are usually right centres?
SCENARIO 2 – Boyd to fullback
Boyd is a specialist fullback and former Clive Churchill Medal winner in the position.
Pros: That move would then necessitate just the one change, a new man on the left wing, who would have the luxury of playing outside a reinvigorated Inglis.
Cons: See scenario one about breaking up the deadly left edge.
SCENARIO 3 – Michael Morgan to fullback
A little more left field, but Morgan excelled at fullback last year with the Cowboys.
Pros: The left edge stays intact, Morgan already has a club combination with Maroons five-eighth Johnathan Thurston, and his game most closely resembles that of the injured Slater.
Cons: Would the Maroons be ignoring two better fullbacks in Boyd and Inglis just so as to not weaken another position? Is Morgan up to 80 minutes at fullback in Origin?