Queensland selector Darren Lockyer has named three potential contenders for Queensland’s No. 9 jumper amid Ben Hunt’s struggles.
Hunt hasn’t hit the ground running at the St George Illawarra Dragons since he made the $6 million move from the Broncos to the struggling club in 2018.
Even more so, this year hasn’t gone to plan as the Dragons are currently winless from their opening three games.
The jury is still out on Hunt and coach Paul McGregor who have been made scapegoats for the poor start.
“There’s pressure on the club, the coach and Ben Hunt has been in the firing line for some time,” Lockyer told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER.
“The money he’s being paid there’s going to be a lot of expectations. When you’re not winning you’re not enjoying your footy. At the moment it looks like a lot of the players are not enjoying being there. I don’t see it turning around any time soon.”
Lockyer named West Tigers’ Harry Grant, Parramatta’s Reed Mahoney and Sydney Roosters stalwart Jake Friend as potential options to fill the void for the Maroons.
“They’ve got huge raps on him, Harry Grant, it’s just unfortunate he was playing behind Cameron Smith (at the Storm),” Lockyer said.
“There’s a long way between now and Origin so things can change. Reed Mahoney I think he’s coming a long way.
“He’s always been a work horse but I think he’s starting to execute his passing game a lot better and he’s playing with a good forward pack.
“Jake Friend has been part of back-to-back premierships, co-captain – he’s been around a long time. He knows what it takes to win big games. No doubt there’s pressure on Ben.”