Earlier this week Queensland chairman of selector Gene Miles stated that Greg Inglis was a certainty to be selected for the Maroons team should he be fit.
This will be the first State of Origin game for Inglis since game three of the 2016 series, as his season-ending injury in round one of 2017 ruled him out of contention series.
The unfortunate consequence of having Inglis return will be one of Queensland’s winning players from last year will lose their position in the side.
The current side features Billy Slater at fullback, Dane Gagai and Valentine Holmes on the wings and Will Chambers at centre. This leaves one centre position for either Inglis or Darius Boyd, who played in the centres in game two of the 2017 season.
However, it appears that Queensland will not be sticking with all their incumbent players in 2018.
While Slater, Chambers and Gagai will all retain their positions in this year’s series, the same cannot be said for all of the 2017 team. With Inglis returning to the other centre position, Holmes and Boyd will fight it out to be selected.
As it stands the player most likely to miss out in Valentine Holmes, even despite his outstanding Origin record. Holmes has scored four tries in just two games on Queensland’s left edge, demonstrating his incredible ability as a finisher.
Unfortunately for Holmes, Darius Boyd will almost certainly be preferred as the left winger.
Boyd has 17 tries in 28 Maroons appearances, many playing outside of Greg Inglis. His experience and longevity in the role give him a selection edge.
So too does a lacklustre start to the season by Holmes at the Sharks. There is plenty of time to turn form around before Origin but the Sharks winger has an uphill battle to win if he is to turn out for Queensland in game one.
Maroons coach Kevin Walters believes that there will be no angst amongst the Queensland playing group due to this decision.
However, for Inglis to walk back into the side after missing an entire season of football may be a tough pill to swallow for some.
After starring in the 2017 series though, Holmes may well feel hard done by to lose his spot altogether.
As it is probably Slater’s last season for the Maroons, Holmes could return as early as 2018 once the fullback role is filled.
Do you think that Holmes should be selected by Queensland in the 2018 State of Origin series?