Rugby league guru Phil Gould has blasted Queensland over their choice to not announce their State of Origin squad in positions and the mystery surrounding several Maroons players, nailing it down to “arrogance”.
While the NSW squad of 19 was named in positions, a 20-man Queensland squad was revealed in alphabetical order, leaving fans guessing what the Maroons side would look like for the series-opener on Wednesday night.
Question marks have also lingered over Maroons stars Dane Gagai (tonsillitis), Cameron Munster (foot), Harry Grant (hamstring) and AJ Brimson (knee), while Ben Hunt has been rushed into camp late, after Reed Mahoney suffered a shoulder dislocation on Sunday.
Gould claimed the antics of the Maroons were eroding at the Origin product.
“We don’t know what their team is yet. What’s that about? Have you seen a team, one through 17? How do they get away with that? How is the promotion of Origin helped by that?” Gould said on Wide World of Sports’ Six Tackles with Gus podcast.
“You name your team, your team is picked in positions, they’re the talking points, that’s what the fans want to see.
“Queenslanders, they just want to be different, they just want to be different. Origin, they own it, it’s all about them, arrogance, whatever you want to call it. They’ll keep us waiting; they don’t care.
“And you know what you’ve got to do? Not react to it. Not react to Dane Gagai’s tonsillitis, not react to Ben Hunt being rushed into camp, not react to the fact they haven’t named their team.
“What you’ve got to do is dismiss it, shake your heard and say, ‘Ah, it’s Queensland’. That’s what they do.”
Gagai missed Sunday’s training session because of his tonsillitis, according to the QRL, while Munster and Grant have both been in doubt for Game I since falling injured in Round Nine. Brimson has been an uncertain starter for the series-opener since succumbing to injury in Round 12.
Queensland’s likely spine for Game I looms as Valentine Holmes at fullback, Munster at five-eighth, Daly Cherry-Evans at halfback and Grant at hooker.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!