Three Queensland legends have called for Billy Slater’s return for Game II and a switch to the wing for Darius Boyd.
Speaking on Fox Sports’ Queenslanders Only show overnight, Australian Coach Mal Meninga, Justin Hodges and Billy Moore selected their team as a group with winger Corey Oates dropped back to the bench.
“The premise to start with was we picked our best 17, and that’s why we found a spot for Holmes,” Moore said.
“Oates did nothing wrong in game one, he was magnificent on that left wing, he basically repelled NSW single-handedly at times.
“But we put him on the bench because we want impact from our bench, and we think that he can do that.”
Meninga said the Maroons were a more dangerous outfit with the utility value of Michael Morgan and Oates sitting on the pine.
“It’s a dynamic bench with Corey Oates,” Meninga said.
“He can play backrow, that’s where he wants to play eventually and to play 30 minutes in the backrow, I think he can do that at Origin level.”
In other selections, debutants Valentine Holmes and Jarrod Wallace were given starting spots while another rookie Coen Hess was named on the bench.