Queensland State of Origin selector Darren Lockier said that despite the series being on the line, Billy Slater would not hesitate to make rookie winger Murray Toulagi debut in both State of Origin games.
The Maroons can win the series by winning Perth, but they will do so without the injured Xavier Coates.
Coates will miss the rest of the series after suffering a syndesmosis injury in the first half of Origin I in Sydney.
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His injury forced Slater to reshuffle in the middle of the match, leaving the Maroons with four forwards on their bench.
Slater has confirmed that Coates will be replaced by one of the two Cowboys players in the expanded squad for Game One – Tawlagi or Hamiso Tabuai-Fido.
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Tabuai-Fidow made its Original debut in Game Three at the Center last year. Toulagi’s side is that he plays the left wing for the Cowboys, a position that Slater has to fill.
The pair will have a final chance to impress when they play North Queensland Manly on Friday.
The Maroon team will be named for Game Two at the conclusion of the Round of Match this weekend.
Coats limps off with an ankle injury
Speaking at the Wide World of Sports QLDERLockyer was playing his card near his chest, but Slater admitted he would have no hesitation in bringing a Rocky with the series for grabs.
“Knowing Billy’s mentality, he likes to look at the players, understand what he brings to the team,” Lockyer said.
“I don’t think it’s a real reason for Billy to have experience or not, he just looks at the player and he knows he can potentially get the best out of it.”
Lockyer said the depths of Queensland he has seen over the years are the best, acknowledging that they have been fighting in that area in recent times.
QLDER Host Adam Jackson came up with a recall idea for veteran Corey Oates, who played the last of his eight Origin matches in 2019.
“I don’t think he’s out of it. My guess is you would say they (Toulagi and Tabuai-Fido) are ahead of him, considering they were in the camp,” Lockyer said.
Queensland legend Wally Lewis has admitted that Coates’ absence was not ideal, but agreed that his replacement would be one of two North Queensland players.
“It’s going to be a bit of a concern for Queensland, no doubt about it,” Lewis said.
“I think Murray Toulagi will have a chance to move on. I am very impressed with his performance in the North. Of course he has done some of his best.
“The selectors may also think that if they need to they can move Tabuai-Fido from the center where he is performing extremely well.”
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