Munster boost as Qld make Origin changes

Ed Jackson
·3-min read

Queensland are confident Cameron Munster will be ready to play in the State of Origin decider on Wednesday while coach Wayne Bennett confirmed several late changes to his team.

Munster has passed all of his concussion protocols after his game two head knock and, barring any setbacks, will line up in the No.6 jersey against NSW at Suncorp Stadium.

The Melbourne playmaker's inclusion is a big plus for the Maroons, who felt his absence after he was taken off the field just three minutes in to in last week's 34-10 loss to the Blues in Sydney.

"He's one of the top three players in the team," Bennett said.

"There's no doubt about that.

"We missed him a lot and pleased we've got him back."

Munster's big-game experience will be welcomed as Queensland go into the decider with four debutants.

South Sydney's Corey Allan and Harry Grant had already been selected to make their Origin bows, with Brenko Lee and Edrick Lee to also make their first Maroons' appearances.

Newcastle winger Edrick Lee was included after Xavier Coates was ruled out with a groin injury - the Brisbane teenager failing to complete training on Tuesday.

Bennett confirmed Storm premiership-winner Brenko Lee will play at centre, with Kurt Capewell to move to the back row.

Brenko Lee narrowly missed making his debut in game one due to a calf strain and his inclusion will mean Jaydn Su'A drops to the interchange bench.

Game two debutant Dumanis Lui misses out after originally being named in Queensland's 17.

Bennett said Allan will play at fullback with Valentine Holmes to move to the wing in a bid to nullify the influence of Blues star Josh Addo-Carr, who has scored back-to-back doubles in this year's series.

"It's obviously a big test but he answered all those for the last two years at Souths with how he's come and played on the wing," Bennett said of Allan's debut in the No.1 jersey.

"He wasn't a winger. We made him play there and he handled it well.

"He came in at fullback after Latrell (Mitchell) got injured and did a great job for us there.

"He's as good an option as we've got considering the couple of injuries we've got. He's confident and I'm confident in him."

Queensland will have to defy history to win the series, with no Origin team rebounding from conceding 30 points in a match to claim the shield.

Bennett said his young team had shown in their game one performance they had the ability to beat NSW, it was just a matter of being mentally up to the task.

"That's the key to it. We got it right in Adelaide in the second half there," he said.

"We played the way we wanted to play and we went off the pace in Sydney.

"There's no doubt about that and they put us off the pace as well.

"They played a really good game of football, and they maximised their strengths and we found all our weaknesses.

"So tomorrow will be as much mental as it is physical."