Qld centres pair receive legends' approval

Ed Jackson
·2-min read

They were supposed to be Queensland's State of Origin weak link but makeshift centres pairing Kurt Capewell and Dane Gagai have left two of the game's greats purring.

Former Maroon Steve Renouf says he and ex-teammate Mal Meninga couldn't have more impressed by how Capewell and Gagai slotted into their roles for last week's 18-14 Game I win over NSW.

"I had a chat to Mal about that and we were so impressed being old centres - we were specialised centres, we didn't like to play anywhere else," Renouf told AAP.

"But, you know, having watched those boys Capewell and Gagai - Dane has played in the centres, here and there, but not at Origin - they played absolute blinders."

Capewell's injured groin has been given the all-clear for Wednesday's Game II clash in Sydney where he will once again line up in the centres alongside Gagai.

NSW have also retained a pair of makeshift centres in Clint Gutherson and Jack Wighton from game one.

Of the four, Gagai has played 148 of his 203 NRL appearances in the position but last week's match was just the second time in his Origin career at centre.

Capewell has only played 13 NRL matches at centre while Gutherson and Wighton are more known for being a fullback and five-eighth at club level.

Both NSW centres were exposed by their opposite numbers during the second half of Game I.

Capewell set up Queensland's opening try after beating Gutherson while Gagai eluded Wighton moments later to break clear and send Xavier Coates away for the Maroons' second-four-pointer.

It wasn't however the pair's attacking which impressed Renouf the most however.

"The big thing that Mal and I talked about it, defensively it's probably the hardest position on the field yet these boys adjusted really well to it," he said.