Ezra Mam drops huge Origin hint amid 'disrespectful' swipe from QLD coach Billy Slater

Mam is in the running to be selected for Queensland after the injury to Cameron Munster.

Ezra Mam has dropped the biggest indication yet that he will be overlooked for State of Origin selection for Queensland, in the wake of Cameron Munster's latest injury heartache. Coach Billy Slater's Maroons were rocked by the news this week that Munster will be ruled out for the entire Origin series after tearing the adductor tendon at the top of his leg and sidelining him for at least two months of footy.

Munster has opted against surgery - which would have ended his NRL season - but is still expected to miss 8-10 weeks. That means he won't play any part in Queensland's quest to win a third-straight Origin series. The crushing blow for the Maroons means it's essentially a two-horse race between Mam and Cowboys five-eighth Tom Dearden to replace Munster at No.6 for the Maroons.

From left to right, Broncos NRL star Ezra Mam and Maroons Origin coach Billy Slater.
Ezra Mam's remarks about Maroons coach Billy Slater and his NRL form don't bode well for his State of Origin hopes for Queensland. Pic: Getty

Dearden is shaping as the front-runner and has previous experience with the Maroons, while Slater also has Ben Hunt and and Sam Walker as other options. The latter two normally play halfback and have styles more similar to Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans, whereas Dearden and Mam shape as more logical and straightforward replacements for Munster.

As speculation intensifies as to who Slater will pick in his side, the Maroons coach refused to weigh in with his thoughts this week. Slater said it would be "disrespectful" to all those in contention to talk about individual players before the team is announced. But Mam provided more of an indication during a segment on Triple M's The Rush Hour QLD with A.B & Elliott.

The Broncos five-eighth admitted he has not spoken to Slater in weeks, which would surely come as a surprise if he was going to be picked as Munster's replacement in the halves for Queensland. In a frank and refreshingly honest assessment of his own form, Mam also admitted that his displays for the Broncos in 2024 had fallen short of his own expectations.

“I haven’t spoken to Billy (Slater) at all in the last couple of weeks," Mam revealed when asked about his Origin hopes. "Obviously, it would be a dream of mine to represent my state but in saying that I haven’t been playing my best footy this year for the Broncos and I’m not where I want to be at the moment.

"If an opportunity comes up obviously I'd be happy to take it but in saying that we've got some great halves in Queensland that would be able to step up and do a job like they have in the last couple of years. It’s not my focus at the moment, my focus is honestly at the Broncos so I'm just happy to be looking forward to this round in particular and trying to play my best footy."


Mam's last chance to stamp his claim for selection before the Origin teams are named comes on Sunday afternoon as the Broncos play host to the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium. Brisbane are set to welcome back a number of stars such as Reece Walsh and Billy Walters after their 13-12 win over Manly in Magic Round. But they will be without centre Kotoni Staggs, who suffered a fractured rib in the win over the Sea Eagles.

The admission from Mam comes after Maroons coach Slater explained why he was loathe to discuss possible candidates for his side before the team is officially unveiled. "Until this exact time next week when the teams are announced, it's all premature conversation," Slater said on his podcast on Monday. "I understand it being a member of the media and I get the excitement around it but as a person who has to make decisions it is really important to be respectful to all players and allow them to play the game.

Pictured right to left, Billy Slater and Cameron Munster.
Billy Slater has refused to speculate on who might replace Cameron Munster for Queensland. Image: Getty

"Next week, I'll be sitting on The Sunday Footy Show in the afternoon. It would be disrespectful for me to talk about individual players who I think will be there or won't be there when there is still two games to be played after that show. You've really got to be patient and wait for all the information, do your duty for the state, and then select that team."