The world of Rugby League.

rleague.com

Qld wary of injury-hit NSW

Queensland coach Mal Meninga knows what it is like to overcome a disrupted State of Origin preparation - and that is why he is not dismissing an injury-hit NSW ahead of their State of Origin decider.
Qld wary of injury-hit NSW
by AAP

By Laine Clark

ROCKHAMPTON, Qld July 9 AAP - Queensland coach Mal Meninga knows what it is like to overcome a disrupted State of Origin preparation - and that is why he is not dismissing an injury-hit NSW ahead of their State of Origin decider.

Meninga had the rare luxury of naming an unchanged 17 on Tuesday for next week's Origin III in Sydney where they will look to clinch an eighth straight series.

He said there were no injury concerns heading into the crunch clash - unlike the Blues.

Strike weapon Jarryd Hayne has already been ruled out while there had been a question mark over Paul Gallen, Greg Bird and James Tamou when they arrived at NSW camp.

And that's what worries Meninga.

He could see similarities between NSW's preparation this week and Queensland's injury-hit countdown to the 2012 decider which they snatched in a 21-20 thriller.

"We had those same concerns in game three last year and named a 20-man team but we handled it well and I'm sure they will," he said at their team announcement in Rockhampton on Tuesday.

"We have the weight of expectation. Our preparation will be around making sure we play well.

"We haven't done well in Sydney for a few years now. It will come down to attitude."

Queensland have not won at next week's game three venue - Sydney's ANZ Stadium - in three years and just five times in 20 games.

While Meninga claimed he had not discussed the future of veteran backs Justin Hodges and Brent Tate ahead of game three, he is planning for the future by naming Melbourne flyer Will Chambers in a 19-man squad on Tuesday.

Injury-plagued Hodges had hinted that he may draw the curtain on his 17-game Origin career and concentrate on NRL action for Brisbane from next year while fellow 31-year-old Tate suggested he would listen to his body before making up his mind in 2014.

New Zealand Warriors prop Jacob Lillyman has retained his spot as 18th man.

The Maroons will head to XXXX Island - formerly known as Pumpkin Island - off Rockhampton on Tuesday for a bonding session before settling into their usual Sunshine Coast camp on Wednesday.

Queensland squad: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Brent Tate, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith (capt), Nate Myles, Chris McQueen, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange: Daly Cherry-Evans, Ben Te'o, Matt Gillett, Josh Papalii, Jacob Lillyman, Will Chambers.




Your thoughts?


You need to login or register to contribute here



Follow rleague.com on Facebook

Popular News Stories