GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - MAY 02: Reece Walsh of the Warriors during the round eight NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the North Queensland Cowboys at Central Coast Stadium, on May 02, 2021, in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Following their Origin I belting at the hands of the Blues, the Maroons will have to go back to the drawing board if they are to tie the series at Suncorp Stadium later this month.

More combative measures will be required to try and tame New South Wales stars Tom Trbojevic, Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco, who killed Queensland from the back-line on Wednesday night.

With Kalyn Ponga‘s health still a question mark, one potential solution for the Maroons may be NRL rookie, Reece Walsh.


While Maroons legend Cameron Smith admitted it would be a “big ask” to throw the young Warriors fullback into the must win game, he admitted everyone has to make their debut sooner or later.

SEE ALSO: The 10 talking points from Origin I

“That would be a big ask, throwing a young fella, an 18 year old whose played half a dozen games into a must win game at Suncorp”, Smith said on SEN Breakfast.

“But you know, everyone has got to make their debut at some stage.

“After coming off a 50-6 point loss there may be some extreme measures that need to be taken”.

Brisbane Broncos Training Session
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 26: Reece Walsh passes the ball during a Brisbane Broncos NRL training session at the Clive Berghofer Centre on November 26, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

SEE ALSO: Frustration and ill-discipline gets the best of Queensland

If it does come to drastic measures, Smith would like to see a fully fit 17 take on the Blues, rather than filling the squad with players who are playing through injury.

“I think what needs to happen, we need to pick players that are fit”, Smith said.

“[Players] that aren’t carrying injuries into the match, they need to have a solid preparation.

“Fingers crossed Kalyn has an opportunity to play at least one game of NRL footy before the next match, to see where he’s at.

“If not, then there are going to be some big calls made to get the correct line up to match the Blues for game 2″.

SEE ALSO: Green holds nothing back after Origin I thrashing

Another potential solution suggested by Smith was Will Chambers.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – JULY 05: Will Chambers runs through a training drill during a QueenslandMaroons State of Origin training session at Sanctuary Cove on July 5, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

“I think he’s been playing some pretty good footy over the last couple of weeks”, Smith said on Chambers.

“The one thing that he would obviously bring to Queensland is the experience first and foremost, but [also] a level head, he’s a great talker, he’s a great defender, something that is needed to combat Tom Trbojevic“.

Queensland will look to avenge its biggest ever Origin loss on June 27.


  1. No chance IMO. I don’t think Cameron Smith is suggesting Reece Walsh be picked for SOO II at all. The fact he said “Everyone has to make their debut sooner or later” indicates that eventually Walsh COULD be picked to make his SOO debut, but not yet. He simply isn’t ready.
    This is the toughest arena of Rugby League in the world, and picking an unproven 18 year old would be a disaster IMO.
    Sure, Reece Walsh has been very impressive in some club games this year, but at this stage of his career he still has a lot to learn and needs to prove himself as an experienced, consistent and regular first grade player.
    I would think that AJ Brimson would be a much better option at this stage.

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