Queensland State of Origin game two team: Slaters makes changes as injury rules out Maroons duo


Queensland have been forced to make a couple of changes to their State of Origin squad for game two with injury ruling J’maine Hopgood and Selwyn Cobbo out of game two in Melbourne next Wednesday.

Hopgood was hurt in Origin I when hit hard by Liam Martin and he battled through limited minutes against Canterbury last week.

He was then pulled by the Eels for Saturday’s clash and is set to miss Origin II at the MCG on June 26.

Cobbo suffered an undisclosed injury for Brisbane in Friday’s loss to South Sydney and will also be missing from the interchange list when Billy Slater announces his team later on Monday morning.

Warriors veteran Kurt Capewell is set to replace Cobbo as the bench utility who can cover centre and the back row with Dolphins second-rower Felise Kaufusi, who got a late call-up as the 18th player in game one, taking Hopgood’s spot.

Forward depth is being stretched in the Sunshine State as Queensland went into the Origin series without injured automatic selections Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Tom Flegler and Tom Gilbert, along with fullback Kalyn Ponga and five-eighth Cameron Munster.

They are all out long term with Flegler hopeful of getting back on the park soon but his ongoing shoulder problem means Origin III is his only potential option in the representative arena.

Reece Walsh reels on the ground as Ben Hunt rushes in to help. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Reece Walsh has missed the past two Broncos matches from to the category-one concussion he suffered in the Joseph Suaalii hit in Origin I due to the 11-day mandatory stand-down period.

Maroons winger Murray Taulagi suffered a minor shoulder complaint but returned for the Cowboys in their win over Canberra on Friday night.

Newcastle utility back Dane Gagai and uncapped duo, Cowboys forward Heilum Luki and Melbourne’s Trent Loiero, are set to be part of the extended squad.

Likely Queensland Origin II team

1 Reece Walsh (Broncos)
2 Xavier Coates (Storm)
3 Valentine Holmes (Cowboys)
4 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Dolphins)
5 Murray Taulagi (Cowboys)
6 Tom Dearden (Cowboys)
7 Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
8 Reuben Cotter (Cowboys)
9 Ben Hunt (Dragons)
10 Lindsay Collins (Roosters)
11 Jaydn Su’A (Dragons)
12 Jeremiah Nanai (Cowboys)
13 Patrick Carrigan (Broncos)
14 Harry Grant (Storm)
15 Moeaki Fotuaika (Titans)
16 Kurt Capewell (Warriors)
17 Felise Kaufusi (Dolphins)
18 Dane Gagai (Knights)
19 Heilum Luki (Cowboys)
20 Trent Loiero (Storm)

with AAP

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