Ben Hunt and Cameron Munster have been added to Queensland’s State of Origin squad in place of the injured Johnathan Thurston and Darius Boyd for the series-deciding clash at Lang Park next week.
Hunt and Munster were named in the Maroons’ 17-man squad on Monday, although coach Kevin Walters was yet to confirm his starting line-up to face New South Wales.
Manly half Daly Cherry-Evans was left out of the squad, despite his recent solid form for the Sea Eagles.
Some observers will consider Cherry-Evans’ non-selection as a snub but Walters slammed any such suggestion.
“Daly was disappointed to miss out, but more so with the media hogwash that he’s not accepted,” he said.
Hunt’s inclusion may raise eyebrows, considering he was recently dropped by Wayne Bennett from Brisbane’s line-up before earning a recall.
Walters has no doubt Hunt will handle the pressure of Origin, in light of his experience with the Broncos in the NRL.
“Ben Hunt’s played in a grand final, he’s played some great games for the Broncos,” Walters said.
“He’s got big-game experience.”
Thurston was ruled out of the remainder of the season after sustaining a shoulder injury in the Maroons’ 18-16 victory over the Blues in Origin II last month.
Boyd was sidelined from Origin III because of a broken thumb.
The Maroons are seeking a third straight Origin series win and their 11th in 12 seasons.
More to come.
Maroons squad: Will Chambers, Gavin Cooper, Cooper Cronk, Dane Gagai, Matt Gillett, Tim Glasby, Coen Hess, Valentine Holmes, Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire, Michael Morgan, Cameron Munster, Dylan Napa, Josh Papalii, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith (c), Jarrod Wallace