Maroons confident Coates will play Origin

Ed Jackson and Pamela Whaley
·2-min read

Queensland winger Xavier Coates' State of Origin debut looks good to go with the teenager only suffering a low-grade shoulder sprain in training.

The 19-year-old had scans on the injury on Monday and Maroons' medical staff are confident he'll be right to face NSW in Wednesday's series opener in Adelaide.

Both teams are set to finalise their 19-man squads for the Adelaide Oval opener on Tuesday and, assuming Coates gets through tomorrow's captain's run unscathed, he should be named by coach Wayne Bennett.

The Blues also received a boost on Monday with star fullback James Tedesco taking part in training with just light strapping on his left knee.

Last year's Brad Fittler Medal recipient now appears almost certain to don the No.1 jersey for the Blues on Wednesday night, with Clint Gutherson to debut for NSW in the centres.

Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans said despite the unusual nature of this year's series, he expects the contest to be just as willing as any season come Wednesday night.

"One thing I'm not going to underestimate is the intensity of the game," Cherry-Evans said.

"I know the buildup's been a little bit different but I've got no doubt in the next 48 hours, it's going to ramp right up.

"As players we're extremely excited about the next three games and this one in particular down in Adelaide.

"It's going to be crazy in the aspect that we've got three weeks of it in a row, that's a sports fans dream, isn't it?"

Coates' likely selection means he'll be one of several Queensland players to debut with 12 of their 21-player squad having never played an Origin.

Incumbent stars Michael Morgan, Moses Mbye and Kalyn Ponga are all sidelined for this year's series.

While it means NSW are heavy favourites to claim a third straight Origin series victory, Blues playmaker Cody Walker isn't taking anything for granted with Wayne Bennett at the helm of the Maroons.

The master coach's ability to inspire those under his charge means Walker, who plays under Bennett at South Sydney, says the Blues are preparing for a Queensland ambush in Adelaide.

"What the debutants will bring is a lot of energy, want and desire," Walker, who has been selected on the Blues' bench, told AAP.

"They'll be up for the game there's no doubt about that.

"That's one thing I know about Wayne is he has his sides ready to go.

"He knows how to motivate his sides, he's done that for us all year.

"Regardless of debutants, everyone will be ready to go.

"He just knows how to prod and poke.

"I just know he'll just get his players up.

"He's always done that with us."