Queensland prop Nate Myles has warned NSW that Josh Papalii is ready to roar in Wednesday night’s State of Origin opener in Brisbane.
The sleeping giant has awoken in the Queensland State of Origin camp – but not before Nate Myles contemplated tasering him.
Maroons prop Myles has warned Canberra wrecking ball Josh Papalii is ready to run amok in Wednesday night’s Origin opener in Brisbane after coming out of his shell at their Gold Coast camp.
But it took some doing.
Asked if some choice words were needed to fire up the quietly-spoken forward, Myles joked: “more like a taser. If I had one I would shoot him with it.”
Instead, Papalii has been inspired by a simple nod from Queensland selectors.
The 110kg weapon was so out of nick for the Raiders he dropped himself to the second-tier Queensland Cup to find form after being overlooked for the trans-Tasman Test.
But loyalty ensured “big Papa” kept his Maroons spot.
And Myles said the Raiders enforcer was primed to repay the faith after finally getting “cranky” at training.
“I think he is in for a big one,” Myles said.
“He is such a genuine dude. He is in an environment that he loves so much and I don’t think he is the type of person who wants to feel like he is being carried, to feel like he is not part of it.
“I don’t think he will be out to prove a point but just to show why he is there.”
Myles enjoyed watching Papalii come out of his shell at training – until he had to tackle him.
“It is fantastic to watch someone so quiet get a little bit cranky on the training paddock,” Myles said.
“And if you ever want to do a tackling drill, do it with him.
“It is like hitting a fridge.”
Papalii’s transformation appears to have erased any concerns created by the loss of utility forward Sam Thaiday (calf).
Papalii’s resurgence boosted what Myles believed was a well-balanced pack despite criticism from the Blues.
NSW had claimed Queensland were a prop short and vowed to target the Maroons’ only out-and-out frontrower Matt Scott.
“If their intention is to target Matt Scott then so be it but we have a few other blokes out there who are looking at putting their hand up,” Myles said.
“Big Papa is looking for a big one, Chris McQueen will add some spice and (rookie) Aidan Guerra is a trump card for us.
“We have been told for a while now that we don’t pick the right style of footballer.
“I think it all comes down to how you control the ball.”