Titans sweat on Arrow's health

Scott Bailey

Gold Coast officials will be left to sweat on the fitness of Queensland State of Origin hopeful Jai Arrow after he was taken to a Canberra hospital on Saturday afternoon.

Arrow left GIO Stadium in an ambulance after he was taken from the field midway through the first half with rib and abdominal pain following a heavy collision with Canberra's Junior Paulo.

He attempted to complete a fitness test, but was later seen vomiting in the Titans' sheds during their 32-18 loss to the Raiders.

Any injury to Arrow will be a significant hit to Garth Brennan's team, given he has easily been their best player over the opening two months of the season despite a number of injuries.

Brennan said the injury was not related to the back spasms Arrow had suffered for the past month, while he also had a rib injury cut the end of his pre-season short.

"Fingers crossed it's nothing too serious," Brennan said.

"That's the most important thing for him. Football and Origin take a second step to your health. I hope he's okay, it's just abdominal issues we wanted to get checked out.

"We hope he's okay and we can get him back on the park as soon as possible."

The 22-year-old's performances had bolted him into Origin contention for the Maroons, particularly after incumbents Matt Gillett and and Josh McGuire went down with injuries in recent weeks.

With just 33 first grade games to his name, Queensland selector Darren Lockyer confirmed in a News Corp Australia column on Saturday that Arrow's name would come up in selection meetings.

He also noted he'd take a keen interest in the form of Canberra lock and Origin incumbent Josh Papalii, after he was dropped back to reserve grade this year following the Raiders' slow start.

But Raiders coach Ricky Stuart went into bat for his star forward, questioning why it would ever be seen that there was a battle between the pair for a spot on the Maroons' bench.

"Jai Arrow is a wonderful player and he will play Origin one day. Maybe this year. But Josh Papalii has proven he is a State of Oriign player," Stuart said.

"I asked him before the game to go and show everyone out there he is an Origin player. He was wonderful, especially in the first half to set that 20-0 lead up.

"He's a big part of our club. No disrespect to young Arrow, but to have that sort of questioning on Josh fighting for his position against a young fella who is not at that level yet.

"Josh showed (Queensland coach) Kevvie (Walters) today he is ready for the step up."