Munster injury forces Maroons to make Plan B


Queensland selector Darren Lockyer says the Maroons are toying with the thought of unleashing celebrity fullback Kalyn Ponga at five-eighth within the State of Origin opener if first-choice No.6 Cameron Munster is not match.

Lockyer stated it was nonetheless the hope that each gamers can be obtainable, which might probably end in Ponga donning the No.1 and Munster taking his normal place at five-eighth, however they’ve each been sidelined since Spherical 9.

Ponga suffered an adductor harm within the Knights’ win over the Raiders, whereas Munster sprained a foot within the Storm’s 50-0 thumping of the Rabbitohs.

Whereas Ponga is anticipated to be match for Origin, there may be rising hypothesis that Munster won’t be prepared, forcing the Queensland selectors to significantly take into account a Plan B.

Lockyer says one issue including weight to Ponga at five-eighth is the truth that Titans weapon AJ Brimson is a terrific back-up possibility at fullback.

“Brimson’s been enjoying soccer and he is going good on the Titans there,” Lockyer stated on 9’s 100% Footy.

“Ponga is a expertise. I bear in mind we had been hesitant when he was making his (Origin) debut. He needed to come on early in the course of the sector and he withstood all of the stress that got here with that function. It was an incredible debut.

“So he is succesful, however on the time, there’s not a number of match health there for Kalyn and to place him up within the entrance line can be an enormous problem.

“However that is likely to be the place we find yourself.

“Brimson’s at all times going to be a working fullback and he is just a little bit just like (James) Tedesco, the place he’ll be across the ball and he is a hazard. When he is on the sector and you have a little bit of momentum he could make one thing occur.”

Though Ponga has settled as a fullback he was examined at five-eighth throughout Nathan Brown’s submit as Knights coach.

St George Illawarra skipper Ben Hunt and teammate Corey Norman are different potential contenders to play five-eighth if Munster is lacking.

Lockyer revealed his total Queensland 17 on this week’s version of 100% Footy, which made for riveting tv in gentle of his place as a Maroons selector.

The panel joked that the 17 he had revealed can be the 17 working out in Queensland jumpers at AAMI Park for the series-opener on June 9.

However the former 36-game Maroons champion performed down the importance of the reveal, saying “issues can change in a short time”, which is particularly true amid the ARLC’s relentless crackdown on excessive pictures.

Lockyer additionally made the novel name to call two small males on the Queensland bench, in Brimson and Melbourne hooker Harry Grant.

“Flexibility is essential. So in the event you get a HIA to an out of doors again you have to ensure you’ve obtained that lined … If somebody goes down on the wing or at fullback, then you definately’ve obtained Brimson there,” Lockyer stated.

“And I believe Harry Grant, on the again of not enjoying a number of soccer of late, could not play … 80 minutes of Origin.

“Final yr he was the game-breaker in Recreation Three when he got here off the bench. He had that spark about him when the sport had the sting taken off it. I believe it’s good to retain that and meaning two small males on the bench.

“I believe if the massive guys are prepared to place their hand up and say they will play some lengthy minutes, then having two small blokes on the bench is not a giant challenge.”

Lockyer named two Origin debutants in his Queensland aspect, in Parramatta hooker Reed Mahoney and Brisbane ahead Tom Flegler.

The twin Golden Boot winner made a complete of six modifications to the Maroons aspect that defeated the Blues 20-14 in final yr’s decider.

Lockyer named Ponga, Brimson, Mahoney, Flegler, Titans second-rower David Fifita and Broncos winger Xavier Coates to tug on a Queensland jersey – all of whom had been absent from the 2020 decider.

These six males are his replacements for Storm recruit Brenko Lee (calf), Knights winger Edrick Lee (foot), retired Roosters hooker Jake Pal, Roosters prop Lindsay Collins (knee), Bulldogs fullback Corey Allan and Raiders front-rower Josh Papalii (suspension).

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