There are some surprises for the Queensland lineup selected for the opening game of the 2019 Origin series to be played next Wednesday June 5th at Suncorp Stadium.
The biggest shock is in the halves with Daly Cherry-Evans to return earlier from expected from an ankle syndesmosis injury. While he hasn’t played since picking up the injury playing against the Raiders in round seven, he is no doubt still under somewhat of an injury cloud but coach Kevin Walters is confident he will be right to line up against the Blues.
As expected, Kalyn Ponga is fullback while former Cowboys teammate Michael Morgan is named in the centres but can also move into the halves if needed.
Ben Hunt has been named to start at hooker. While there wasn’t a lot of other options for the Queensland number nine, Ben Hunt provides some spark out of dummy half and another playmaking option.
Moses Mbye has been named to debut as the bench utility, with his experience at dummy half and ability to play anywhere in the back line, he will surely provide valuable cover should a back line reshuffle be required. Starting his first Origin game off the bench will allow him to come on at the back end of a half when some of the sting has been taken out of the game and he’s certainly good enough to set up or score tries.
Queensland boast some intimidation on the interchange bench with Dylan Napa joining Broncos debutants Joe Ofahengauae and David Fifita. Interestingly, David Fifita will be the first player born in the 2000’s to play Origin football.
Kevin Walters has chosen to blood the young guys and has axed Jarrod Wallace, Gavin Cooper, Coen Hess and Tim Glasby. Jai Arrow joins Josh Papalii in the front row while Josh McGuire also returns from injury to start at lock.
The Queensland side is:
1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Corey Oates 3. Michael Morgan 4. Will Chambers 5. Dane Gagai 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Jai Arrow 9. Ben Hunt 10. Josh Papalii 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Matt Gillett 13. Josh McGuire 14. Moses Mbye 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Dylan Napa 17. David Fifita 18. Tim Glasby 19. Anthony Milford 20. Kurt Capewell