Thaiday admits Origin uncertainty impact

Murray Wenzel
Sam Thaiday says he's not holding his breath for Origin, but this year's teams are far from picked

Sam Thaiday admits the uncertainty around this year's State of Origin selections is being felt by Brisbane players.

There are as many as five Broncos who are considered a chance to play in the June 6 opener for the Maroons, while James Roberts is in the mix for NSW.

But none are certainties and the Broncos, who twice have had 12 players feature in an Origin series, face the prospect of boasting no Queensland representatives for the first time since 1997.

"Well the Queensland teams are usually fairly easy to pick but there's definitely (going to be) a few smokies this year," said veteran Queensland and Brisbane forward Thaiday.

"Even with ourselves (Brisbane), we haven't had such a young side play for the Broncos when we haven't been in that Origin period ... it's kind of preparing us in case we do have a few guys picked."

Injured Brisbane pair Matt Gillett and Josh McGuire would ordinarily be locks for Queensland selection, with McGuire considered a good chance of recovering from an ankle injury in time to play.

Andrew McCullough is fighting with North Queensland's Jake Granville and Sydney's Jake Friend for the hooking spot vacated by Cameron Smith.

Corey Oates and Darius Boyd are in a tight race for a spot in Brisbane's backline, while Thaiday was dropped during last year's series.

However former Brisbane, Queensland and Australian captain Gorden Tallis has called on coach Kevin Walters to include the experienced Thaiday in a side likely to feature plenty of unknown potential.

Thaiday has been solid for the injury-hit Brisbane, with the club missing as many as eight forwards ahead of Thursday's clash at Suncorp Stadium.

"I'm not going to hold my breath; I'm enjoying my footy at the moment," Thaiday said of his selection chances.

"The role I'm playing has been a lot of fun and if I continue doing that, who knows what's going to happen."

Not since 1997, when Super League players were forbidden from playing, have Queensland fielded a team without a Broncos representative.

Thaiday thinks there will be at least two in Maroon jumpers though, backing McCullough for a debut and McGuire to start even without an NRL warm up.

"(McCullough has) worked hard at his craft for many, many years now and shown his toughness," he said.

"(McGuire's) a great representative player now, can get right in there and if need be slide into an Origin position without playing too much footy."