How Queensland shape up for Origin III

·3-min read

HOW QUEENSLAND SHAPE UP FOR STATE OF ORIGIN III

Fullback - Kalyn Ponga

Age: 23

Origins: 3

Tries: 0

Making a welcome return from injury for his first game of series, the elusive fullback poses a much-needed offensive threat.

Winger - Valentine Holmes

Age: 25

Origins: 9

Tries: 9

Goes back to the wing where he has proven a genuine try-scoring machine for the Maroons. All nine of his Origin tries have come in his six games on the wing.

Centre - Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow

Age: 19

Origins: 0

Tries: 0

The latest to be given the Tom Trbojevic defensive assignment - a tough ask for a teenager on debut - but boasts enviable speed in a clear tactical shift from Paul Green.

Centre - Dane Gagai

Age: 30

Origins: 18

Tries: 11

Centre rival Latrell Mitchell has won by knockout in both Origin games this season and Queensland need their talisman firing to be a chance.

Winger - Xavier Coates

Age: 20

Origins: 4

Tries: 2

Sensationally recalled on game-day for the ineligible Ronaldo Mulitalo in Brisbane, high-flying Coates will hope for more space to move after retaining his spot ahead of axed Kyle Feldt.

Five-eighth - Cameron Munster

Age: 26

Origins: 12

Tries: 1

Hasn't managed to make a dent in the series, the Maroons' attack again misfiring when they did have early opportunities in the Brisbane loss.

Halfback - Daly Cherry-Evans (captain)

Age: 32

Origins: 16

Tries: 1

Like Munster, largely ineffective despite a better kicking game in Brisbane and his captaincy has come under fire after back-to-back floggings.

Prop - Christian Welch

Age: 26

Origins: 5

Tries: 0

Was out on his feet after a lung-busting first stint in Brisbane as part of a pack that was again comprehensively beaten.

Hooker - Ben Hunt

Age: 31

Origins: 10

Tries: 0

Promoted off the bench at Andrew McCullough's expense, could prove a point-of-difference for a Maroons attack that has been tardy so far.

Prop - Josh Papalii

Age: 29

Origins: 19

Tries: 3

Back from suspension for Game II, veteran Papalii's inclusion yielded just 92 metres from 10 runs and he'll need to find a way to be more effective.

Back-rower - Kurt Capewell

Age: 27

Origins: 5

Tries: 1

Happy to be out of the centres and into the familiar confines of the backrow, where he can generate some go-forward and feed Tabuai-Fidow early ball.

Back-rower - Felise Kaufusi

Age: 29

Origins: 11

Tries: 1

Not used to having his colours lowered once, let alone twice, and will want to turn the tables after a relatively quiet game two.

Lock - Tino Fa'asuamaleaui

Age: 21

Origins: 5

Tries: 0

Was initially benched ifor this game after a quiet series - he made just 71 metres in game two - but back into the starting side after Jai Arrow and David Fifita were both denied berths.

Interchange:

AJ Brimson

Age: 22

Origins: 3

Tries: 1

Just how the Gold Coast fullback is used is an intriguing question as Paul Green looks to get the most of out the talented up-and-comer.

Frank Molo

Age: 26

Origins: 1

Tries: 0

An honest debut in Brisbane and will hope to get his teeth into the contest again.

Moeaki Fotuaika

Age: 21

Origins: 3

Tries: 0

The talented forward has been in great form at club level and is waiting for a break-out Origin performance that is seemingly inevitable.

Tom Flegler

Age: 21

Origins: 0

Tries: 0

A surprise debut for the Brisbane forward, who has been ordered to play the role of aggressor off the bench after conceding earlier this year his form didn't warrant a call-up.

18th man:

Kurt Mann

Age: 28

Origins: 0

Tries: 0

The Newcastle utility has snuck into the match-day squad as 18th man thanks to Fifita and Arrow's exits, opening the door for another unlikely Origin debut.

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