FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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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 14
The 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.