Maroons roll the dice on hurt stars for Origin

Queensland have named a 20-man squad riddled with question marks, with several of their key men in a 10-day race to be fit for State of Origin I.

Cameron Munster (foot) and Kalyn Ponga (groin) have both been named for the series-opener, even though neither have played for their clubs for several weeks. The QRL named the squad in alphabetical order, rather than putting jersey numbers next to their name, but it is understood that Munster is set to start at five-eighth and Ponga is to be the starting fullback.

Meanwhile, AJ Brimson has been included in the squad despite failing to finish yesterday’s match for the Titans due to a lingering knee issue – a bone bruise that has troubled him for several weeks.

The Maroons took the advice of Queensland icon Cameron Smith by picking Reed Mahoney to start in the No.9 jersey ahead of Storm star Harry Grant, who has also missed the last few weeks of NRL action with a hamstring tear.

Just as he was in his match-defining Maroons debut, Grant has been picked to come off the bench in the No.14 jersey for Paul Green’s first game as Queensland’s head coach.

NSW named their 19-man squad last night.

MAROONS’ 20-MAN SQUAD (with likely jersey numbers)

1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Valentine Holmes 3. Dane Gagai 4. Kurt Capewell 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) 8. Christian Welch 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Jai Arrow 11. David Fifita 12. Felise Kaufusi 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui. Bench: 14. Harry Grant 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Jaydn Su’A. Reserves: 18. AJ Brimson 19. Coen Hess 20. Kyle Feldt


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