Maroons make changes for Origin decider

Ed Jackson
·3-min read

Harry Grant's breakout 2020 season will end in a State of Origin debut as Queensland take a much-changed team into next week's series decider against NSW.

Grant, the Dally M and RLPA rookie of the year, is one of three changes to the Maroons' line-up in the wake of their heavy 34-10 defeat to the Blues in game two on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old, who starred on loan at Wests Tigers from Melbourne in the NRL season, is one of three changes to Queensland's team as they aim to win their first series in three years.

Grant will start on the bench in the No.14 jersey, replacing Ben Hunt in the utility role with the St George Illawarra star dropping out of the 17.

South Sydney's Corey Allan will also debut for the Maroons, replacing Phillip Sami on the left wing.

The other change made by Bennett is the return of Christian Welch at prop after he was overlooked for game two to allow him to recover from a head knock suffered in game one.

Dunamis Lui drops to the bench to make way for Welch with game two debutant Moeaki Fotuaika joining Hunt on the four-man reserves list along with Edrick Lee and Brenko Lee.

Melbourne premiership-winner Lee, who missed out on a debut in game one after being a late scratching due a calf injury, could yet come into the 17 in place of Allan if he can prove his fitness at the Maroons' training session on Sunday.

Cameron Munster has been named at five-eighth but can only play if he passes NRL concussion protocols after being taken out of game two in just the third minute due to a head knock.

Fullback Valentine Holmes said had been his normal "lippy" self since Wednesday's loss and deserved to be given every chance to prove his fitness for game three.

"He has played in grand finals, Origins, big games. He is someone we definitely need to have," Holmes said.

"He is an experienced player in our team and in the leadership team.

"We need him on the field."

On Thursday the man responsible for the contact that put Munster on the ground, Tyson Frizell, avoided any charge for the incident despite concern he had hit the Queenslander in mid-air.

As well as not being charged, the NSW backrower was not penalised by referee Gerard Sutton at the time, and Holmes said it was tough to know if Frizell's actions were fair or not.

"It looks like he was kind of contesting for the ball," the North Queensland flyer said.

"They put a kick in and he wants to score, we want them not to score. He grabbed him and kind of threw him.

"He could have been going for the ball. It's hard to pinpoint."


Valentine Holmes, Xavier Coates, Kurt Capewell, Dane Gagai, Corey Allan, Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans, Christian Welch, Jake Friend, Josh Papalii, Felise Kaufusi, Jaydn Su'A, Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, Harry Grant, Lindsay Collins, Jai Arrow, Dunamis Lui, Ben Hunt, Edrick Lee, Moeaki Fotuaika, Brenko Lee.