Queensland legend Wally Lewis has dropped four players from the State of Origin team that stunned New South Wales in three games last year.
Despite their last-start 20-18 upset win on the Gold Coast last July, the Maroons seem ready to make a number of changes.
In that winning streak, Luis Hamiso is excluding Tabuai-Fido, AJ Brimson, Francis Mollo and Thomas Flaler from the squad that he would like to select his favorite state for the opening match of the series on June 8 in Sydney.
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He shook Queensland’s backline, pushed Val Holmes to the center and pushed Tabui-Fido aside, while teenage Broncos sensation Selwin Cobo came on the wing to make his debut.
Xavier Coates ‘name is on the other wing of Lewis’ side, while Dan Gagai holds his place in the center.
Maroon selector Darren Lockyer has revealed that ‘The King’ is not too far away from what the potential team will be.
“I think most people have the same backline,” Lockyer told Wide World of Sports. QLDER.
“Of the seven (including half of Cameron Munster and half of the Daily Cherry-Evans), there are at least five who really choose themselves. The wing is probably the area where you can discuss something.
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“It’s a very special position right now. Not just taking a high ball, then defensively, reading the line is a big deal. If you can’t play during the week, outside of the week, it’s a little risky.”
Lewis is tipped to North Queensland forwards Ruben Cutter and Jeremiah Nanai to make their original debuts on the Queensland bench.
Brisbane forwards Thomas Flaler and Patrick Carrigan have made headlines for their unfortunate omissions.
Flaler played for the Maroons last year, when Carrigan snatched an original debut due to a knee injury, but has returned to strong form this season.
Roosters prop Lindsay Collins was also considered.
“There are other names out there that can fit those exact positions,” Lockyer said.
“There are quite a few of them in Townsville. But I think you have to balance your experience with your youth.”
Wally Lewis chooses his QLD core: QLDER – Round 11
Lewis chose Joy Arrow to return to his origins, having been ruled out of three games last year after breaking COVID-19 rules while at camp.
“You can probably pick one or two, but I like his performance. I think he’s done pretty well,” Lewis said.
Lockyer said the arrow would be considered for this year’s election, despite disappointing the team with its violation in 2021.
“I think he took his medicine, he paid a fine,” Locker said.
Queensland will announce its squad for Origin I on Monday.
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