Back-rowers Ben Te’o and Chris McQueen have urged Queensland selectors to stay loyal as the Maroons bid to keep their State of Origin winning streak alive.
Bruised, battered but unbowed, Queensland’s players are urging Maroons selectors to stay loyal for the return State of Origin match in Sydney, despite Wednesday’s narrow loss.
The Maroons are famous for their ‘stick and pick’ selection policy and it has been a feature of their eight year reign over the interstate series.
But calls are growing north of the Tweed to make changes, injuries aside, to the Maroons side for Origin II on June 18 after their 12-8 loss in the series opener.
Gold Coast back-rower Dave Taylor has put forward a compelling case for a Queensland recall with a series of barnstorming efforts in recent weeks, with Josh Papalii one player struggling to hold his place.
There will be changes for the Maroons for the ANZ Stadium encounter, with Daly Cherry-Evans to come into the halves for Cooper Cronk, who suffered a broken arm in the opening game.
Cameron Smith will play after overcoming an ankle injury to take the field for Melbourne in their 22-0 loss to North Queensland in Townsville on Saturday, while Billy Slater is a 50/50 proposition.
Regardless, Maroons back-rower Chris McQueen said he expected selectors to stick with the players who have done the job in the past.
“Obviously a few boys got some bumps and bruises, and a few injuries and they will have to assess who is going to be right to play and who is injured,” McQueen said.
“But I think that anyone that is fit and ready to go will still be there.
“It was a tough game, it was anyone’s game, I think we played well as a team.
“There was probably a few decisions that went against us and a few errors that cost us in the end.
“But as a team I think we played well.”
McQueen’s South Sydney teammate Ben Te’o said he didn’t expect the selectors to be panicked into making changes as Queensland attempt to keep their incredible eight year winning streak alive.
“I’m not sure how they will mix up the team with injuries but I would say they will still stick with the same players where they can,” Te’o said.
“They might make some minor changes but not too much.
“Fingers crossed I get in.”