Qld coach Walters backs prop Wallace

Laine Clark
Prop Jarrod Wallace has received support from Queensland coach Kevin Walters

Momentum may be building for Matt Scott's return but Queensland coach Kevin Walters has thrown his support behind maligned Maroons prop Jarrod Wallace ahead of their must win State of Origin clash in Sydney.

Maroons greats have called for surprise game-one omission Scott to be recalled for June 24's crunch Origin II after Gold Coast front-rower Wallace's underwhelming series opening display.

The Titans enforcer was restricted to just 43m in 35 minutes in Queensland's 22-12 Origin I loss at the MCG.

Wallace has been denied a final chance to impress selectors before the Origin II team is named on Monday, missing Saturday's NRL clash with Canterbury after copping a one-match ban for a cannonball tackle on South Sydney's Cameron Murray.

Wallace is believed to be under pressure to keep his front row spot with calls growing for 22-Origin veteran prop Scott to return after he was surprisingly overlooked for game one.

But Walters backed Wallace's series opening effort.

"Jarrod Wallace has come into some criticism. I thought defensively he was quite good actually and quite tidy around the ruck," Walters told Sky Sports Radio.

"I know he only had the five carries which he has been heavily criticised for but sometimes in games, and again not trying to make excuses for him and his performance, but the ball just didn't come his way.

''We expect, if he does get selected, a much stronger and better performance form Jarrod in game two."

Titans coach Garth Brennan also defended Wallace after the Gold Coast prop responded to criticism with a mighty stand in their last-round loss to South Sydney.

"How anyone could be questioning Jarrod Wallace's position in the Queensland Origin side has got me absolutely amazed," Brennan told reporters.

"People who looked at his runs the other night (in Origin) are NRL Supercoach fans, they don't look at what coaches look at - (Maroons coach) Kevvie (Walters) is not that silly."

Still, Walters didn't rule out changes to the Maroons pack for Origin II.

Scott, 32, is tipped for a comeback after overcoming a knee complaint that forced selectors to overlook him for Origin I.

"A lot has been said about our forwards and just watching the review of everything, we weren't great and at Origin level you need to be great,'' Walters said.

"Do we make some changes or stick with the tried and true and give them another opportunity?

"Well, that's something we have to decide over the next seven days."