Wally Lewis urges Billy Slater to make huge Origin call ahead of Maroons selection drama

The Maroons are dealing with a number of injuries ahead of the team selection.

Maroons legends Wally Lewis and Darren Lockyer have urged coach Billy Slater to recall in form Dragons enforcer Jaydn Su'A after injuries have hampered Queensland's forwards. Coach Slater has a number of tough decision to make in 2024 with a number of key forwards missing out in this year's series due to injury.

Two of the biggest names for the Maroons names missing include Tino Fa'asuamaleau and Thomas Flegler for this year's series. Slater is going to need to select a player to fill the huge boots filled by the forwards. And both Lewis and Lockyer have singled out Su'A as a potential favourite. The Dragons forward has already helped the club secure four wins this year, as many as they did for the entire campaign in 2023.

Maroons legends Wally Lewis (pictured middle) has urged coach Billy Slater to look at Dragons enforcer Jaydn Su'A for State of Origin selection. (Getty Images)
Maroons legends Wally Lewis (pictured middle) has urged coach Billy Slater to look at Dragons enforcer Jaydn Su'A for State of Origin selection. (Getty Images)

Shane Flanagan has been impressed with Su'A and the former Origin player is playing better than ever. Su'A played in the 2021 and 2022 for the Maroons, but hasn't been selected under Slater after injuries hampered his 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Although NRL Immortal Lewis has given the enforcer a glowing endorsement when it comes to a recall for this year's battle after noticing a change in attitude. "I think that he can play and certainly he will remind the Origin selectors of his worth," Lewis said on Channel Nine's QLDER.

"He is a lot tougher than he ever gets credit for and he is also a lot more skillful than he ever gets credit for. If he did get selected, it would make the guys around him feel quite comfortable."

Su'A has lifted his work rate from last year having scored four tries in nine appearances already. He is averaging 121 running metres in 2024, compared to 109 metres last year. Su'A only played 13 games for the Dragons last year due to injury.

Jaydn Su'a runs the ball.
Wally Lewis has backed Jaydn Su'a (pictured) for a recall to the Maroons side.

Lockyer was also full of praise for Flanagan and Su'A after the forward's return to form. He admitted while he probably wouldn't be starting in front of Jeremiah Nanai or David Fifita in the starting backrow, he has put pressure on the Origin starters this year.

He admitted an injury free Su'A is a good sign for the Maroons in 2024. Reuben Cotter is all but a certain to be selected for Queensland this year after his Wally Lewis medal-effort in 2023. Meanwhile, many are selecting J'maine Hopgood to feature for the Maroons off the bench.


While Blues coach Michael Maguire is facing a selection dilemma for his spine this year with James Tedesco, Dylan Edwards, Nicho Hynes, Mitchell Moses and Jarome Luai all in contention, Slater is more settled.

Reece Walsh will retain his fullback jersey, while Daly Cherry-Evans will wear the No.7 jersey alongside Cameron Munster. Harry Grant and Ben Hunt will battle it out for the starting No.9 role with the former in sensational form to start 2024.

Billy Slater and Michael Maguire pose with the State of Origin shield.
Billy Slater (pictured left) and Michael Maguire (pictured right) will select their team after round 12.