Suspension threatens to rule out Maroons veteran

Laine Clark and Matt Encarnacion

It wouldn't be State of Origin without a judiciary drama.

And Wally Lewis believes Queensland faces a major selection headache over Matt Scott, tipping the prop to miss the Origin opener in Melbourne due to suspension.

But the Immortal has backed Gold Coast's Jarrod Wallace to step up in the Maroons' front row in Scott's absence on June 6.

Queensland selectors already face arguably their toughest test as they began life without retired skipper Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.

Their job has not been made any easier after Scott was threatened with a one-match ban for a shoulder charge in North Queensland's 7-6 NRL loss to Melbourne on Friday.

The Maroons also have injury worries although halfback hopeful Ben Hunt (cork) and veteran fullback Billy Slater (hamstring) are expected to be named in the team on Monday.

Scott will need to contest his grade one shoulder charge to make himself available for Origin I - and Lewis says the Cowboys co-captain is in trouble.

"A lot of people are suggesting he will definitely be suspended, and if that's the case Jarrod Wallace comes straight into the front row," Lewis told the Nine Network.

Scott missed the 2017 Origin series - and much of the NRL season - with a knee injury.

If Scott is banned, Wallace - who made his Origin debut last year - is expected to join Sydney Roosters firebrand Dylan Napa in the front row.

Manly No.7 Daly Cherry-Evans is believed to be on standby for Hunt although the St George Illawarra playmaker insisted he would be fit if picked despite failing to finish the loss to Penrith on Saturday.

Despite speculation linking him to the vacant hooker role , Hunt is expected to be named in the halves with Melbourne's Cameron Munster.

That is expected to relegate Test half Michael Morgan to the Maroons bench as a utility ahead of Newcastle's Kalyn Ponga.

"There is some (Hunt injury) concern there but Cherry-Evans would be the man to fill the spot if he doesn't pass the test," Lewis said.

Hunt tried to allay injury fears.

"It's 10 or so days from now and it's only a cork so hopefully I get it right," he told Fox Sports.

The biggest injury comeback may be from Brisbane's Josh McGuire, who looks set to feature at lock despite missing five weeks with an ankle injury.

Melbourne's Felise Kaufusi is tipped to make his Origin debut in the absence of Brisbane's Matt Gillett (neck) after avoiding a dangerous contact charge for a tackle on Scott.

Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough is set to earn a Maroons debut, filling the huge shoes left by Smith.

Cronulla flyer Valentine Holmes is on track to be named on the left wing ahead of Brisbane veteran Darius Boyd.

Brisbane forward Joe Ofahengaue is a chance to make his debut off the bench ahead of Gold Coast's Jai Arrow.

Greg Inglis is favourite to be named captain.

Possible Queensland side: Billy Slater, Valentine Holmes, Greg Inglis (capt), Will Chambers, Dane Gagai, Cameron Munster, Ben Hunt, Matt Scott, Andrew McCullough, Dylan Napa, Gavin Cooper, Felise Kaufusi, Josh McGuire. Interchange: Michael Morgan, Josh Papalii, Jarrod Wallace, Joe Ofahengaue.