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10 hours ago
The Queensland selectors will be keeping an eye on Brisbane utility Shaun Berrigan and Cowboys winger Matt Sing this weekend as they collate the Queensland squad for Origin II at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday.
With the series on the line, Queensland selectors need to get the balance right to force a decider in Sydney next month.
But there was no suggestion today of panic changes given the closeness of the Sydney game a fortnight ago.
Champion playmaker Darren Lockyer will be back for the return Origin provided his broken rib comes through Sunday's game against the Sharks.
But Berrigan and Sing will have only 80 minutes to convince selectors to pick them.
Berrigan, who returns against the Sharks from a hamstring injury that put him out of the 9-8 Origin loss to NSW in Sydney, can play either halfback or centre .
It would be highly unlikely selectors would drop Wests Tigers halfback Scott Prince after his outstanding debut in Sydney, which could mean either a centre spot or a bench role for Berrigan.
Sing's last performance in Origin III last year remains fresh in selectors' minds and after the unconvincing effort of Justin Hodges in Sydney, Sing could could get a call up with a strong game back from a knee injury against St George Illawarra in Wollongong tomorrow night.
"If he comes through that his name will be in the selection room," said Queensland selector Gene Miles.
"We remember what he did for us last series, three tries in the last game and man of the match."
Co-selector Des Morris will run the rule over Sing and several of his Cowboys team-mates, including Matt Bowen, Josh Hannay, Paul Bowman and Travis Norton and report back on their performances.
"Obviously we're looking at the wing spot and the halves with Locky (Lockyer) and Berro (Berrigan) back in the frame," Miles said.
"The forwards did a great job in game one and there's no real concerns there providing they all come through the weekend's games healthy."
Miles wasn't concerned that hooker Cameron Smith, who made an amazing 53 tackles, missed his only two kicks at goal, one which hit the post and the other which spewed well wide of the posts.
"We were happy enough with the way he kicked," said Miles.
"He hit the post and his other kick was from the bad side for a left footer but he's an accomplished club kicker and I've got no complaints with him kicking for goals."