Queensland forward Jai Arrow is set to miss the rest of the State of Origin series after scans revealed an ankle injury that may sideline him for three months.
The Maroons were sweating on Arrow’s fitness ahead of June 23’s Origin II in Perth after the Gold Coast forward went down in the first half of Saturday’s NRL loss to the Warriors.
The Titans confirmed that Arrow would be sidelined for six to 12 weeks, and would consult a surgeon on Monday after scans revealed “significant ankle ligament damage”.
It is another injury blow for Maroons coach Kevin Walters, who is set to name his team for Origin II on Sunday night.
Besides losing starting prop Arrow, Walters is also without bench forward Joe Ofahengaue, who suffered a knee gash in their 18-14 Origin I victory.
Arrow’s club teammate Jarrod Wallace is expected to come into the mix, along with Newcastle’s Tim Glasby and Melbourne’s Christian Welch.
It is believed Glasby is front of the queue after being named 18th man for Origin I, with Welch next in line.
Walters is a major fan of the no frills Glasby, who has impressed in his three Origins since his 2017 debut.
And it is believed Welch would have been in the frame for Origin I if he had not suffered a knee meniscus injury in the Storm’s round 10 win over Wests Tigers.
But Wallace is backing himself to reclaim his Maroons jersey after strong club form.
Wallace played five Origins from his 2017 debut.
He lost his spot in Origin I after a disappointing NRL season start and copping criticism for not making a bigger impact in the Maroons’ starting front row last year.
However, he has turned in three impressive performances since the Maroons’ squad for the series opener was named.
On Friday, Wallace played 73 minutes against the Warriors, leading the Titans with 164 running metres and making 26 tackles.
“That’s the thing in NRL. We’re going to have those disappointments and it’s how we respond to them,” Wallace told AAP.
“There’s no point in kicking cans, that’s not going to get me back into the squad.
“I just had to go out there and do what I needed to do and play footy, do the best I could and I felt I did that.
“It’ll be up to Kevvie now but if I get that opportunity I’ll take it. I won’t let no-one down.
“I want my jersey back and I’ll do everything I can if I do get it back to make sure I keep it.”