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3 days ago
Queensland will have it first official training run at it's luxurious base at the Hyatt Regency resort at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast today.
The seven rookies in the 17-man squad will train on the resort's driving range which has been transformed into a football field especially to meet their needs. Coach MAL MENINGA admitted the surrounds were superb but says they won't help Queensland win next Wednesday's first State of Origin match against New South Wales at Telstra Stadium.
Centre Brent Tate, who has only played two games this season because of a foot injury following off-season shoulder surgery, says he'll probably ease into training this week. After training the players will test their golfing skills on the resort's championship 18-hole golf course which has been the venue for the Australian PGA Championship in recent years.
The team will remain in camp at Coolum until next Tuesday and fly to Sydney on the eve of the first game of the series.
Meanwhile, NSW coach Graham Murray says Parramatta winger Eric Grothe will be the first choice replacement if either Matt Cooper or Mark Gasnier can't make next week's State of Origin match. One of the selected wingers Timana Tahu or Matt King would switch to centre.
Gasnier has a hip injury while Cooper has a hamstring strain but both are aiming to train with the side later this week along with injured forward Luke O'Donnell. Grothe is on standby with Penrith back Luke Lewis.