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Injury-hit Maroons toss up switching Greg Inglis to five-eighth for State of Origin II

Change mooted: Greg Inglis on the charge in Origin I.

Change mooted: Greg Inglis on the charge in Origin I. Photo: Getty Images

Queensland are contemplating taking one of the biggest gambles of their record eight year run, weighing up the notion of moving Greg Inglis to five-eighth for game two in Sydney.

With Cooper Cronk ruled out with a broken arm and Daly Cherry-Evans in doubt with hip and knee injuries picked up in game one, the Maroons could be on the look out for a new halves partner for Johnathan Thurston.

Fairfax Media understands the Maroons are mulling over a number of potential combinations, one of those involving moving Thurston to halfback and Inglis into the No.6 jersey.

Inglis won the Clive Churchill medal in 2007 as a five-eighth in Melbourne's grand final win.

Inglis won the Clive Churchill medal in 2007 as a five-eighth in Melbourne's grand final win. Photo: Getty Images

While Inglis has developed into one of the best fullbacks in the game at South Sydney, it's often forgotten that he won the Clive Churchill medal in 2007 as a five-eighth in Melbourne's grand final triumph against Manly.

The Maroons have also looked at the possibility of picking Broncos halfback Ben Hunt or even switching skipper Cameron Smith from hooker to the halves, however rugby league immortal Andrew Johns believes Queensland's best option involves Inglis.

"I'm saying Thurston to halfback and Inglis to five-eighth," Johns said on The Footy Show.

"He's got a Clive Churchill medal playing five-eighth. Billy Slater will be right, it's only a shoulder.

"I just think if you take Cameron Smith out of dummy half, and I'm not helping Queensland in any way, you change the whole way they play. No one plays like Cameron Smith. He plays like a halfback out of dummy half."

Selection talk is all hypothetical at this point, with Cherry-Evans and Billy Slater (shoulder) both a chance of lining up for the second game of the series at ANZ Stadium on June 18.

But even if Slater is ruled out, the Maroons have plenty of options at fullback to justify picking Inglis at five-eighth.

Darius Boyd could switch from the wing to the familiar fullback role, which would open the door for either Will Chambers or Dane Nielsen to slot into the backline, while Canberra superstar Anthony Milford is also being considered to make his debut in game two at fullback or even as a utility on the bench.

While the Maroons have been decimated by injury, Inglis is no certainty to line up for the must-win game in Sydney in just over two weeks' time given he is expecting the birth of his first child on the day of the match.

10 comments so far

  • They might as well put G.I. at 5/8 because at present QLD is using this rolled gold asset like the Liberal Party is using Malcolm Turnbull.

    Commenter
    RTP
    Location
    Sawtell
    Date and time
    June 01, 2014, 10:50PM
    • If I were a Rabbits fan I would be hoping that the great Greg Inglis does indeed sit out SOO2, and also SOO3. His dickey knee won't last all season – as clearly shown by his sub-standard performances in the Finals series of 2012 and 2013. If Greg's knee goes Rabbits chances of the comp in 2014 go too.

      Commenter
      Albert Ross
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 02, 2014, 5:43AM
      • Rabbitohs won't win the comp this or any year until they get a player in the team with the brains to win the close ones. You can't pin it all on GI, one of the halves has to learn to play smart - maybe Luke Keary can do it, what I've seen from Sutton and Reynolds the last few years is not hopeful - good players for sure but not in the same league as Cam Smith, JT, Lockyer, Cronk, Maloney, Foran, Cherry Evans in the brain department.

        Commenter
        Soot
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        June 02, 2014, 9:10AM
    • Surely QLD are not struggling to replace Cronk and Cherry-Evans. Under the current qualification criteria there must be someone who's next door neighbours best friend's uncle was born in Queensland.

      Commenter
      The Dog
      Location
      Haberfield
      Date and time
      June 02, 2014, 7:25AM
      • Albert Kelly would be a great fit. He's in great form and from just down the road from Inglis' hometown.

        Commenter
        Ray Man
        Location
        BM
        Date and time
        June 02, 2014, 11:58AM
    • Billy Slater would be brilliant as Half or 5/8. He has all the skills and would be just as successful as Lockyer if he made the move. Maybe more so because he has more speed off the mark. Inglis should play Fullback and Slater 5/8.

      Commenter
      jessie
      Date and time
      June 02, 2014, 9:32AM
      • Suprised James, Maloney or Greg Bird haven't been suggested, they have played matches against the bronco's on Suncorp surely that qualifies them as Qlder's.

        Commenter
        The Sum
        Date and time
        June 02, 2014, 12:27PM
        • Ahhh...... Chris Sandow is a Queenslander ?????????? Move GI to Fullback.........

          Commenter
          Chrissie
          Location
          Sydney
          Date and time
          June 02, 2014, 12:34PM
          • Are you referring to the same Dane Neilson thats been playing reserve grade for the Warriors the last month because he offered us absolutely zero in attack?

            Commenter
            Shinobi
            Date and time
            June 02, 2014, 12:49PM
            • With the Morris boys cactus GI needs to stay on the left flank with Boyd. It's points on tap. Two tries and numerous other opportunities last Wednesday proves this. DCE and Slater will both play, Thaiday comes in for Pappali with McQueen to the bench, and Milford to the bench to cover anything and everything.

              Commenter
              Undo Cando
              Location
              Here, always here
              Date and time
              June 02, 2014, 12:52PM

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