Queensland coach Mal Meninga says Brisbane fullback Darius Boyd will be picked for the opening State of Origin clash as long as he gets through his next NRL match.
Boyd will play against North Queensland on Friday night, a week after making his return in the Broncos’ win over Penrith following a pre-season Achilles injury.
Meninga said he admired the return of the 27-year-old, who battles depression.
“I was very excited about it as I didn’t expect it,” Meninga said at the MCG, where game two will be played on June 17.
“Darius has obviously been working really hard to get back on the field.
“He’s gone through a pretty horrid time with personal issues and has handled that extremely well.
“He’s got one more game for the Broncs against the Cowboys and we hope he gets through it and if he does he’ll be picked.”
Meninga said due to his loyalty to his players, the team for the opening match against NSW on May 27 was mostly settled.
Broncos prop Josh McGuire is on the cusp of being a new face in the Maroons line-up despite missing the clash with the Cowboys through suspension.
“He’s due,” Meninga said.
“He’s playing really good footy so in my mind, and I know we had a selectors meeting earlier this week, and in their mind he’s right up there.”