Qld's Hunt 'definitely playing' Origin I

Laine Clark
Halfback Ben Hunt insists he is fit to play for Queensland in Origin 1

A final verdict is not expected until Sunday but recovering Queensland halfback Ben Hunt has boldly declared ahead of the State of Origin opener in Melbourne: "I am definitely playing".

The St George Illawarra star appeared a step closer to filling the big shoes left by retired Maroons No.7 Cooper Cronk in Wednesday's Origin I after training strongly in a thigh guard at the Maroons' Gold Coast camp on Friday.

Maroons concerns Hunt (thigh), fullback Billy Slater (hamstring) and lock Josh McGuire (ankle) are set to receive the official all clear after Sunday's session before the squad leaves for Melbourne the next day.

But Hunt has already given himself the green light.

"I am definitely playing," he told NRL.com website.

"That was the main test (on Friday) and I got through it comfortably so I will only get better from here.

"(Coach) Kevvie (Walters) asked me how it went and I said I had no issues so we are all good."

Alarm bells were ringing for Hunt just 24 hours earlier.

The Dragons playmaker had very little to do with the main group as he hobbled around and back-up Anthony Milford ran the plays at their first Gold Coast training session on Thursday.

"I iced it up last night and it felt a lot better (on Friday)," Hunt said.

"I've been having a couple of massages a day, the physios have been getting stuck into my leg and it's come up well.

"I was running freely actually. The warmer I got the better I got so it will only get better from here.

"I can't wait now. I'm looking forward to doing the best I can next week."

Maroons mentor Walters said Hunt was "heading in the right direction".

"We'll make a final decision on Sunday. He looks to be in good shape," he told NRL.com.

Queensland prop Jarrod Wallace was adamant Hunt would run out in the No.7 jersey.

"Ben Hunt will play. I can tell you now he would have a broken leg and still go out and play - it's just a cork," he said.

Veteran Maroons backrower Gavin Cooper said the injuries had not been a distraction at their Gold Coast training base.

"I don't think we had a Plan B so I think he is playing," Cooper said of Hunt.

"They (three injury concerns) looked good (on Friday) They hadn't done a whole lot up until then but they looked like they hadn't missed a beat."