Tino a lock to negate Qld's Cotter loss

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Tino Fa'asuamaleaui says he's ready to play the full 80 minutes of State of Origin II as Queensland mull the novel predicament of how to replace Reuben Cotter.

Debutant Cotter was a surprise starter for the game one victory in Sydney but justified coach Billy Slater's faith with a 49-tackle, 80-minute effort at lock in a game played at blinding speed.

It allowed the rookie coach to introduce reserve hooker Harry Grant and bench prop Pat Carrigan early in the first half, both men dominating in what proved a strategic hurdle the Blues couldn't overcome.

Cotter's ability to snuff out opposite number Isaah Yeo was also pivotal, the Blues' No.13 unable to freely distribute to his halves in another tactical victory for Slater.

Cotter's absence with a hamstring injury has forced the giant Fa'asuamaleaui from prop to lock for Origin II in Perth on Sunday, presenting Slater with a fresh conundrum.

Lindsay Collins, free to play after escaping suspension for a dangerous tackle on the weekend, will move from the bench into a starting role while Jai Arrow takes his place on the bench.

A nine-game Origin veteran, Arrow is a luxury at Slater's disposal but the void left by Cotter is hard to ignore, Slater himself describing it as a "massive loss" when naming the team on Monday.

But Fa'asuamaleaui says the pack is ready to offset the Cotter loss, declaring he's ready to play without a rest if needed.

"I reckon I can do it," he told AAP.

"Reubs worked so hard and was so good and we are a different sort of style of player, but we'll work hard for each other in the middle there and make up for it."

Fa'asuamaleaui didn't see it as his sole responsibility to shut down Yeo, instead backing the pack to do that.

"That's a whole-team thing but for me it's just 'keep it the same, keep it simple'," he said.

"What I do best is run as hard as I can and tackle as hard as I can; that's just me."

Fa'asuamaleaui emerged during the Maroons' underdog series win in 2020 but has endured frustration at both NRL and Origin level since, with his Gold Coast team currently last on the ladder.

He said a series win in Perth would be a special experience given the next generation of Queensland forwards now under veteran Josh Papalii's wing.

"He offers us so much, Papa is like a bit of a father figure to us and I guess we do have a bit of a (forwards) gang here," he said.

"We're very close and Papa is great at setting the tone during the week, making sure we don't overdo it and that we're just ready to go at 5.50pm (local time) on Sunday."

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