FORMER Test and NSW fullback Garry Jack says Queensland's forward pack is full of "cream puffs".
MELBOURNE star Greg Inglis will miss the second State of Origin match after being ruled out with stress fractures in his back. Inglis was yesterday selected on the wing for Queensland when it attempts to level the series at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday week.But his NRL club says he will be unavailable and will not be able to play for 2-4 weeks.Steve Clark has been appointed as referee for the second State of Origin match between NSW and Queensland at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane next Wednesday.Clark replaces fellow whistleblower Sean Hampstead, who controlled the opening game of the series. Hampstead will be the stand-by referee for the game. Rod Lawrence and Russell Turner have been appointed as touch judges, with Graeme West the video referee.It will be Clarke's fourth time in control of an Origin match.
NSW coach Graham Murray believes Queensland will be a more formidable opponent following the addition of Tonie Carroll and Chris Flannery to the side which lost the Origin series opener.
QUEENSLAND has taken the shock step of dropping fullback Matt Bowen from the side altogether in favour of Australian custodian Karmichael Hunt.Justin Hodges has been named subject to fitness, likewise with backrower Tonie Carroll who has been drafted into the squad at the expense of Matt Scott. David Stagg has also been dropped with Carl Webb elevated to the starting side and Chris Flannery brought in on the bench.Calls to shift captain Darren Lockyer to fullback and select halfback Scot Prince have been denied with the rest of the side unchanged for the Queensland?s return home game on Wednesday, June 14The full squad is:Karmichael Hunt, Brent Tate, Justin Hodges, Steve Bell, Greg Inglis, Darren Lockyer (c), Johnathan Thurston, Petero Civoniceva, Cameron Smith, Steve Price, Carl Webb, Tonie Carroll, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: Shaun Berrigan, Chris Flannery, Sam Thaiday, Nate Myles.-----As expected, the NSW Blues have made only the one change to their line-up with injured second rower Luke O?Donnell being replaced by in-form Dragons prop Luke Bailey, who moves to the bench. Andrew Ryan will start at lock. The debate surrounding the halfback position has been resolved with incumbent Brett Finch fighting off a late challenge by Matt Orford to retain his position, whilst Craig Gower?s leg injury has again dashed his hopes of representing.Selectors also stayed loyal to the centre-wing combination of Timana Tahu and Eric Grothe, choosing to keep the Parramatta duo instead of drafting in Dragons and Test centre Matt Cooper, who withdrew before game one with a hamstring injury.Game 2 will be played at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on June 14.The full squad is: Brett Hodgson, Matt King, Mark Gasnier, Timana Tahu, Eric Grothe, Braith Anasta, Brett Finch, Willie Mason, Danny Buderus, Brent Kite, Steve Simpson, Nathan Hindmarsh, Andrew Ryan.Interchange: Luke Bailey, Steve Menzies, Mark O'Meley, Craig Wing.
QUEENSLAND'S hottest State of Origin debate in years will be settled today when selectors decide where to play skipper Darren Lockyer in Wednesday week's crucial second match.
PENRITH halfback Craig Gower will give his surgically-repaired knee its first real test later today when he runs for the first time since last week's Origin-eve mishap. Gower, who was ruled out the day before Origin one following a training injury, is desperate to play in Sunday's clash against the Manly, with the NSW side for Origin two to be selected on Monday.
NEW South Wales half-back Brett Finch says he's still coming back down to earth following last night's thrilling one point victory over Queensland in the Origin Series opener at Telstra Stadium.Finch capped a wonderful performance with the match winning field goal in the dying minutes of the clash but doesn't hold out much hope of featuring in the return game in Brisbane on June 14. The Sydney Roosters playmaker says he expects Penrith half-back Craig Gower to come back into the side if he is fit.Gower underwent knee surgery yesterday and it is still uncertain if he will be available for the Suncorp Stadium match.
QUEENSLAND'S Origin preparations continued to sail along today while New South Wales crammed in an unscheduled training session to accommodate late inclusion Brett Finch. The Maroons went for a team walk as the nerves began to build for tonight's opening State of Origin clash at Telstra Stadium.
NSW team head trainer Paul McGregor rates injured captain Danny Buderus a "very good chance to play" in tomorrow's rugby league State of Origin opener against Queensland in Sydney.
NSW Graham Murray says he will give skipper Danny Buderus until the last minute to overcome a back injury ahead of tomorrow night's opening State of Origin clash at Telstra Stadium.