Queensland Maroons confirm State of Origin line-up for Game 2

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    The Queensland Maroons have finally locked in their team in for Game 2, with coach Kevin Walters springing a few surprises, including naming Darius Boyd in the centres.

    »All the latest State of Origin team news

    With the Maroons team named alphabetically on Monday, Walters revealed his 17 on Friday morning, with Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston confirmed to make their returns.

    Dane Gagai, who was one of Queensland’s best in Game 1, has been retained on the wing despite his backline versatility. This pushes Darius Boyd, one of the most prolific try scorers in Origin history to the centres as Billy Slater claims the fullback spot, playing his first Origin game in two years.

    Whether they will take the field that way is another question given Boyd has never played in the centres, but Walters naming it that way suggests he has plenty of faith in Gagai to do a similar job to the one he did in the series opener.

    Johnathan Thurston is also back in the halves, partnering Cooper Cronk. The pair has won ten Origin games together and will be aiming to make it 11 at Homebush on Wednesday, with the series on the line.

    Gold Coast Titans prop Jarrod Wallace has been named in the props after overcoming a shoulder charge judiciary case during the week. There was talk he would come off the bench with Josh Papalii to shift into the front row, but that notion has been put to bed with Wallace named in the no.10 jersey.

    Papalii has been given a role by coach Walters to come off the bench and cause some damage, with Cowboys second rower Gavin Cooper named in the starting side. Given his combination with Johnathan Thurston, it could present a challenge for the Blues to contain.

    The two other men brought into the team – Coen Hess and Tim Glasby – will make their debuts off the bench, with Walters not making any other changes to the starting 13 from Game 1.

    Cameron Munster has also been added to the squad as 18th man and is expected to link up with the Maroons camp on Sunday after the Storm host the Cowboys on Saturday evening.

    Queensland Maroons team for Game 2

    1. Billy Slater
    2. Valentine Holmes
    3. Will Chambers
    4. Darius Boyd
    5. Dane Gagai
    6. Johnathan Thurston
    7. Cooper Cronk
    8. Dylan Napa
    9. Cameron Smith (c)
    10. Jarrod Wallace
    11. Gavin Cooper
    12. Matt Gillett
    13. Josh McGuire
    14. Michael Morgan
    15. Josh Papalii
    16. Coen Hess
    17. Tim Glasby

    18th man: Cameron Munster

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 2000 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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    The Crowd Says (25)

    • June 16th 2017 @ 1:23pm
      StAdam said | June 16th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

      NSW by 10+

    • June 16th 2017 @ 2:27pm
      kk said | June 16th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

      Queensland need their #’s 8-13 and #’s 15-17 to sustain maximum effort to win.

      Break even, at least, and the Maroon backline will do the rest. Q by 7.

    • June 16th 2017 @ 2:37pm
      Larry1950 said | June 16th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

      Wouldn’t every side want a bigger, faster & more skilful prop, unfortunately you have to pick from who’s available. Qld has been successful for a decade based on Matt Scott’s front row efforts & he’s no giant. Play the cards you’re dealt, run the nsw forwards around a bit more than game 1, the Qld pack looks mobile enough. QLD has generally picked packs comprising mainly workers, Hess might bring that X factor that’s been missing for a while, we used to have Inglis to take those hard charges back from deep in our own territory and Hodges was reliable for 20 metres from dummy half beating 2-3 tackles a few times in most games. Boyd doesn’t mind smashing it back when the side needs it, has lifted the Broncos quite a few times doing that.
      Reckon Graham will try to land one of his blind-sided tackles on Hess early on if they’re both on, might come unstuck there. Can’t wait, should be a great game whatever happens, 2 good sides named (take note Robbie & Paul).

    • June 16th 2017 @ 2:45pm
      matth said | June 16th 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

      Well I would be running at Boyd all night and see how his front line defence stacks up. He won;t be able to remember the last time he made 10 tackles in a match. Having said that he is a quality player so I hope he will cope ok.

      • June 17th 2017 @ 2:26pm
        Griffo said | June 17th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

        I think he will cope with the extra tackling. I know we’re going back a long way but in game 1 2011 he had to keep coming off his wing to help Willy Tonga out with Mark Gasnier. Tonga sustained a shoulder injury very early in the match and bravely played on, however it was Boyd’s extra work that helped cover that vulnerability.

    • June 16th 2017 @ 5:03pm
      The Spectator said | June 16th 2017 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

      Straight swap from O’Neil and Holmes imo would’ve been all the back line needed, bringing Salter back for some zip out back only to weaken the wall in front of him, Boyd at centre with a rookie outside him Im guessing is prob a bit too much. Blues 22-4

    • June 16th 2017 @ 6:15pm
      Mango Jack said | June 16th 2017 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

      I smell a Maroon ambush. Slater and JT back, Blues chilling out in a casino thinking their work is done. Qld by 12, followed by an “emotional farewell” at Suncorp that will see another series lost.

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