Leeds-born Sam Walker has been named in Queensland’s extended squad for the State of Origin decider.
He will join Billy Slater’s squad for Game III of the series with a sell-out crowd confirmed for the decider at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday, July 13.
Walker was named Dally M rookie of the year in his debut season in the NRL with Sydney Roosters last season. To date, he has made 37 appearances and scored 13 tries.
Queensland boss Slater has made just one change to the side that was defeated 44-12 in Game II. North Queensland Cowboys forward Tom Gilbert has been called into the squad as a replacement for Felise Kaufusi. The Melbourne back-rower is unavailable due to family reasons.
Cowboys youngster Jeremiah Nanai has been called into the vacant back-row spot. Gilbert has been named on the bench. He will become the eighth player from the NRL club to be involved in Origin this year.
Cameron Munster has been named and is expected to play despite missing his side’s recent loss to Manly Sea Eagles with a shoulder injury.
Meanwhile, Jordan McLean is set to make his State of Origin debut for New South Wales. He replaces Payne Haas, who misses out through injury.
Despite Latrell Mitchell’s return for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Fittler has stuck with centres Stephen Crichton and Matt Burton for Game III. Jack Wighton has been named as 18th man after missing Game Two with Covid.
State of Origin squads
Queensland: Ponga, Cobbo, Holmes, Gagai, Taulagi, Munster, Cherry-Evans, Collins, Hunt, Papalii, Kapewell, Nanai, Fa’asuamaleaui.
Bench: Grant, Arrow, Carrigan, Gilbert.
Reserves: Flegler, Dearden, Fermor, Tabuai-Fidow, Walker.
New South Wales: Tedesco, To’o, Burton, S.Crichton, Tupou, Luai, Cleary, McLean, Koroisua, Trbojevic, Murray, Martin, Yeo.
Bench: Cook, A.Crichton, Paulo, Talakai.
Reserves: Wighton, Hynes, Gutherson, Saifiti, Robson.
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