Senior prop Petero Civoniceva says Queensland can overcome its abysmal Telstra Stadium record by feeding off the big Sydney crowd next Wednesday night. Civoniceva says he and fellow veteran front-rower Steve Price will have to lead the way for a forward pack that includes five rookies - two of them Nate Myles and Sam Thaiday - coming off the bench.
Queensland has not won a State of Origin game at Telstra Stadium in 10 attempts since 1999 - losing nine times and forcing one draw. Civoniceva says the Maroons are expecting a cold reception from the Blues' fans but can use that to fire up on game night.
NSW will make a call later this morning on whether star centre Mark Gasnier will play in Wednesday's opening State of Origin match at Telstra Stadium. Gasnier has been struggling with a hip problem but showed little discomfort as he took part in some light training drills with his Blues team mates yesterday.
The St George Illawarra centre says he wants to make a decision on his availability as early as possible so as to give his replacement, Penrith winger Luke Lewis, as much time as possible to prepare for the match. If Gasnier is cleared to play for the Blues, Lewis will be released from camp to play in tomorrow night's NRL match against Parramatta.
Meanwhile, winger Matt King says his Melbourne club mate Greg Inglis could be unstoppable when he makes his Queensland debut. King and Inglis are likely to go head to head at Telstra Stadium in Sydney next Wednesday after both were named on the wing for the Origin clash.
King says the 19-year-old Storm utility is a freak and will take league's biggest stage in his stride. Whiz-kid Inglis has blasted into the rugby league world this season and joins Storm club mates Dallas Johnson and Cameron Smith in the Queensland side.Like