Morning wrap

Queensland forward Sam Thaiday is expected to miss the opening State of Origin rugby league match against New South Wales after being diagnosed with a fractured eye socket.

Thaiday suffered a small fracture in his right eye socket in Brisbane's win over South Sydney last Friday and says he faces two to four weeks on the sidelines. That would rule him out of selection for Origin I at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday week.

He has been replaced by Corey Parker in the Brisbane squad for tomorrow night's NRL match against the Sharks at Sydney's Telstra Stadium.

Elsewhere, injured Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall is adamant he'll be back at five-eighth when he makes his return to the NRL later this season. Marshall will undergo surgery in Sydney today after scans revealed a fractured socket in his right shoulder, the injury expected to keep him sidelined for between 10-12 weeks.

The 22-year old has already had two reconstructions on the same shoulder, but has rejected talk of a move to fullback to protect his fragile body. Marshall says he doesn't want to be hidden in defence and is desperate to remain at five-eighth for the remainder of his career.

Meanwhile, only 16 players bothered turning up as the NRL opened its books for inspection yesterday.

Eight NRL clubs were without a player representative, but Bulldogs prop Willie Mason denied the poor turn up indicated a lack of interest from players. It was Mason's threat of a player strike over wage demands which was the catalyst for the forum.

Rugby League Professionals Association boss Matthew Rodwell said he would take issues raised by the players at yesterday's meeting back to the clubs via their delegates. NRL chief executive David Gallop has put an offer on the table which would see the salary cap raised to $4.1 million next season and $4.2 million in 2009 and 2010.

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