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Harrison's Origin omission a mistake: Lang

Ashley Harrison

Ex-Queensland State of Origin star Martin Lang fears the Maroons have made the wrong call by deciding to dump veteran back-rower Ashley Harrison.
Harrison's Origin omission a mistake: Lang
by AAP

By Ed Jackson

GOLD COAST, Qld, June 20 AAP - Ex-Queensland State of Origin star Martin Lang fears the Maroons have made the wrong call by deciding to dump veteran back-rower Ashley Harrison.

Queensland selectors went against their history of staying loyal to players following defeat by dumping Harrison and prop David Shillington for Wednesday's crucial game two in Brisbane.

Lang, who earned cult status during an eight-match Origin career where the fearless prop was renowned for his barnstorming hit-ups and uncompromising physical approach, believes 32-year-old Harrison deserved a chance at redemption.

"Ash was very unlucky," Lang told reporters.

"He's been there so many times and done the job that after the first game I think he deserved the chance to square the ledger at Lang Park.

"Obviously he won't get that. Queensland have shown a bit more loyalty in the past, I hope they just don't live to regret it."

Shillington's omission has allowed Canberra enforcer Josh Papalii to move into the Maroons front-row.

Already the 110kg wrecking-ball is being discussed as a physical option to muscle up to NSW's forwards, including Blues captain Paul Gallen.

And Lang, who believes Papalii is tailor-made for Origin football, doesn't think the new rules punishing punches with automatic stints in the sin-bin will have any affect if tempers flare next week.

"The way it's played I honestly cannot see the players worrying about that sort of thing when they're out there," Lang said.

"It'll be the last thing on their mind. They'll be looking to go out there and play hard obviously, not with a premeditated thought to fight, but if it happens, it happens.

"I don't think the new rule will stop them."


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