MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Billy Slater of the Melbourne Storm is congratulated by Darius Boyd of the Broncos after the round three NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Park on March 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Queensland’s Selection Headache


Well, we’re not far away from game one of the State of Origin series and that usually means that in the build-up to the first selection, many fans are discussing who they want in certain key positions for their team.

The biggest headache would have to be who Kevin Walters wants to use for the QLD fullback position in game one.

The Blues have their own worries, but this position is vital and with Billy Slater and Darius Boyd playing fantastic footy, it’s going to be interesting to see who Walters picks.

Slater hasn’t played the whole year due to an ongoing injury which left Boyd as the obvious choice for the position.

No one in their right mind could have guessed that Slater would turn it on like he has since his return to the NRL.

In the last few weeks it’s almost as if he has wound back the clock to his “Billy the Kid” days.

Boyd has been as consistent as you would like for the Broncos, playing safety first footy at the back and you know you can always rely on him.

He was the fullback in the Australian team for their last test against New Zealand, but does that mean he deserves to play in that position for Origin as well?

There’s no denying that both Boyd and Slater could play fullback comfortably without letting their team down but it’s the dynamics of the team that Walters and the selectors have to worry about.

They will both be in the team no matter what, but with both Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk in the Queensland team, it only makes sense to put Billy at fullback and leave the “Big Three” Melbourne duo together in their preferred positions.

Boyd will slide in nicely on the wing which is another reason as to why Queensland is so dominant, as players can literally play anywhere and still make an impact.

The other worrying sign for Queensland is if Johnathan Thurston is still unfit and unable to play.

A champion player of the calibre of ‘JT’ will definitely be missed if he can’t take the field, but that opens up the position for players such as Anthony Milford, Michael Morgan and Daly Cherry-Evans to hopefully take their place in the starting side.

One bolter who we might even see picked could be Cameron Munster.

He would fit the criteria to the tee with his sharp running game, although he might not be the best ball player.

He’s played with Smith, Slater and Cronk in that number six position and has done so without any worry.

If only NSW had the same depth Queensland has…


8 COMMENTS

  1. Its the same story every year. QLD will claim to be underdogs and claim injuries. Slater and Thurston will both play. They will have a few choices to make though. I’ll say they pick:
    1 Slater 2 Boyd 3 Chambers 4 O’Neill 5 Holmes 6 Thurston 7 Cronk 13 Guerra 12 Gillett 11 Papalii 10 Lillyman 9 Smith 8 Myles 14 Morgan 15 Thaiday 16 McGuire 17 Napa

    I’d pick Munster at left centre, move Chambers to right centre and not play O’Neill. I’d probably have Coen Hess and Jarrod Wallace in the team for Guerra and Lillyman.

    NSW selections meanwhile are a circus sideshow as usual. I have concerns Tupou or Hopoate will get in for Tom Turbo now, but with the right forwards (Frizell, Trbojevic, Fifita, Graham) and as long as pig headed Gallen doesnt try and push his way back in at some stage, theyll go close this year. We’ll see if he can control his steroid rage while watching at home on the couch.

  2. What I Would Pick The QLD Team:
    1. Darius Boyd
    2. Corey Oats
    3. Will Chambers
    4. Dane Gagai
    5. Valentine Holmes
    6. Jonathan Thurston
    7. Cooper Cronk
    8. Dylan Napa
    9. Cameron Smith
    10. Josh McGuire
    11. Josh Papali
    12. Matt Gillet
    13. Sam Thaiday
    INTERCHANGE:
    14. Michael Morgan
    15. Ethan Lowe
    16. Nate Myles
    17. Korbin Sims
    21 MAN SQUAD:
    18. Jarrod Wallace
    19. Cohen Hess
    20. Jacob Lillyman
    21. Billy Slater

    What NSW Team I’d Pick:
    1. James Tedesco
    2. Josh Mansour
    3. Josh Dugan
    4. Jarryd Hayne
    5. Blake Ferguson
    6. James Maloney
    7. Mitchell Pearce
    8. Andrew Fifita
    9. Nathan Peats (No for a FACT choosing Farah)
    10. Shannon Boyd
    11. Tyson Frizzell
    12. Boyd Cordner (c)
    13. Wade Graham
    INTERCHANGE:
    14. Matt Moylan
    15. Trent Merrin
    16. David Klemmer
    17. Paul Vaughan
    21 MAN SQUAD:
    18. Aidan Tolman
    19. Ryan Hoffman
    20. Bryce Cartwright
    21. Jack Bird

    • That nsw team isn’t going to beat knights! Let alone QLD. Merrin? Moylan? Tolman? Hoffman? Cartwright? Sorry but that team is poor.

  3. Slater for me because you still have Boyd in the squad if Slater is picked.

    1. Billy Slater
    2. Darius Boyd
    3. Will Chambers
    4. Justin O’Neill
    5. Dane Gagai/Holmes
    6. Johnathan Thurston (If fit)
    7. Cooper Cronk
    8. Dylan Napa
    9. Cameron Smith
    10. Sam Thaiday
    11. Josh Papalii
    12. Matt Gillett
    13. Josh McGuire

    14. Michael Morgan
    15. Nate Myles
    16. Aidan Guerra
    17. Jacob Lillyman

    Holmes and Gagai is a hard choice, Qld love to be loyal to there players but Holmes is playing better than Gagai this year.

  4. Qld need to start thinking about the future. Smith, Slater, Cronk and JT are all like 33/34 and will likely all retire within the next couple of years. Qld’s success has been on the backs of 4 certain Immortals in Smith, Locky, Slater and JT and a few possible Immortals in Cronk, Inglis and Parker. Meanwhile the closest to a future Immortal NSW has had is Gallen.

    In other words the playing field will be leveled in a year or two and considering NSW’s talent in the forwards I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t have a domination stretch, especially if Qld don’t start planning now.

    That’s why Qld need to find room for Munster and Milf and NSW should blood Peats over Farah. When Qld’s spine retires NSW could have the advantage in having an experienced spine of Peats, Teddy, Maloney and Pearce. If they can maintain consistency in the spine for the next year or two of the Immortals reign then they will have a huge advantage come 2019/2020.

  5. i like how the last two weeks after jt was hurt in the test gus has been beating the morgan drum and how if you listen to him he will be the next immortal. he knows if qld picks morgan at 6 that that helps nsw. i’m not bagging morgan, good player but just not the finesse of guys like milford and taylor. good coming off the bench.

    that said all the talk for morgan will probably stop after jt said he is gonna be sweet for SOO1

    btw pick both slater and boyd. let them change it up during the game and keep nsw guessing.

  6. QLD:
    1. Slater
    2. Boyd
    3. Chambers
    4. O’Neil
    5. Holmes
    6. Thurston/Morgan (if JT unfit)
    7. Cronk
    8. Napa
    9. Smith
    10. Maquire
    11. Papali
    12. Gillet
    13. Thaiday

    14. Morgan/Milford (if JT unfit)
    15. Myles
    16. Guerra
    17. Lilyman

    NSW:
    1. Tedesco
    2. Mansour
    3. Bird
    4. Peachey
    5. Hayne
    6. Maloney
    7. Pearce
    8. Fifita
    9. Wallace
    10. Boyd
    11. Frizzel
    12. Cordner
    13. Graham

    14. Moylan
    15. Klemperer
    16. Vaughan
    17. Paulo

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