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)

New Zealand Warriors consultant and former NSW Blues coach Phil Gould has lashed out at the Maroons' selection of teenage fullback Reece Walsh for Sunday's must-win clash at Suncorp Stadium.

Walsh headlined one of several changes for Paul Green's side following on from Queensland's horror 50-6 defeat at the hands of the Blues in Townsville to open the series.

The match led to a number of forced changes for Green, who has looked to shuffle his backline and front pack in hope of levelling the series this weekend.

ORIGIN: Team lists for Origin II 

Walsh slots into the No.1 jumper in place of Valentine Holmes, who has moved to the wing as Xavier Coates falls out of the side.

With Green opting to bring in the 18-year-old to face a star-studded and fiery Blues outfit, Gould labeled the selection "disgraceful" given Walsh has featured in just seven NRL matches for his career.

“We wish him well. No one at the Warriors club was denying him the opportunity if it came for him. Everyone was just worried about his wellbeing and whether or not it was the right thing to bring him into a team, particularly this Queensland team at the moment,” Gould said on Nine’s 100% Footy.

“Maybe back in the day when they had Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater and Johnathon Thurston and a tough forward pack and they were actually on a roll, it’d be a good time to bring him into camp and let him see Origin football from the inside out and maybe after a year or so give him a blooding into the Queensland side.

“But to bring him into a team that was beaten 50-6 in Game One I think is a disgraceful decision by the Queensland selectors. To be asking an 18-year-old to come in and solve this problem is not fair on the kid.

“I hope he brains them. He’s got great talent, he’s going to be an Origin player of the future, I hope he scores five tries and saves five tries.

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“That doesn’t justify the decision to throw this kid to the wolves on Sunday.”

Cowboys prop Francis Molo joins Walsh in making his Origin debut on Sunday, landing a place on the interchange, while Dragons hooker Andrew McCullough comes into dummy-half as a reinforcement for the injured Harry Grant.

Sharks flyer Ronaldo Mulitalo is also a chance to make his maiden Maroons appearance after being selected as a reserve for Green's side.