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Queensland Maroons Squad named for Game 1

Staff Reporter 5/28/2013 | |


Maroons newcomer Chris McQueen.
Maroons newcomer Chris McQueen. Photo: Getty Images
Queensland coach Mal Meninga momentarily had him confused with the man on the motorbike from The Great Escape but believes new recruit Chris McQueen will give the Maroons a fresh edge in June 5’s Origin opener.
The 25-year-old Rabbitohs utility could be Queensland’s only debutant on Wednesday week, depending on how the ankle injury to Darius Boyd progresses.
Boyd was named on the Queensland wing last night, but Melbourne’s Justin O’Neill will fly into camp tomorrow as cover for the Newcastle star should he fall short.
Darius Boyd of the Knights is pulled down during the round 11 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Newcastle Knights at Mt Smart Stadium on May 26, 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Darius Boyd of the Knights is pulled down during the round 11 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Newcastle Knights at Mt Smart Stadium on May 26, 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Hannah Johnston
It’s a Maroons side full of Plan Bs, with Daly Cherry-Evans and Josh Papalii named in an extended squad. With Johnathan Thurston’s partner, Samantha Lynch, expecting a baby any day, Thurston has the bag packed although he remains confident of taking part

And Papalii will be on standby in case of injury or a turn for the worse in the case of Ben Te’o, who stands accused of assaulting Katie Lewis. With no current police involvement, Queensland had little hesitation in naming him on the bench.

But it’s McQueen that brings the most intrigue to the Maroons, not the least because he’s a rare fresh face in a side that rarely changes. He’s so new that Meninga, in a memorable slip of the tongue, called him by the name of one of his favourite movie stars.
Cooper Cronk and Kevin Proctor of the Storm up end Mahe Fonua of the Roosters during the round 11 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm at Allianz Stadium on May 25, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
Cooper Cronk and Kevin Proctor of the Storm up end Mahe Fonua of the Roosters during the round 11 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm at Allianz Stadium on May 25, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Mark Nolan
“Well Steve, sorry Chris. Steve McQueen - one of my favourite actors actually. Is that all you want?” Meninga laughed.
But on the football front, the Maroons coach has no doubt the 105kg, 190cm backrower and centre could be a huge handful for NSW.
“Chris has been part of our system for a few years. He’s had a fantastic couple of years under Michael Maguire and I think he adds a new dimension to our team. He’s very solid and I think he’ll do the job for us,” Meninga said.
Meninga said he would leave the Te’o matter to the NRL integrity unit.
“There’s an ongoing investigation through the integrity unit and I believe some results will come out very shortly. We’ll go by their results and make some decisions when they come out,” Meninga said.
Meninga said the versatility of Nate Myles and Sam Thaiday, who can both play in the middle, eradicated the need for another specialist prop.
Earlier in the day, Cooper Cronk (lifting tackle) and David Shillington (high shot) were cleared to play after being reported on the weekend.
The Maroons leave for Bundaberg on Tuesday where they will meet fans in the flood-ravaged Wide Bay town.
Queensland Billy Slater, Brent Tate, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Darius Boyd, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Matt Scott, Cameron Smith (c), David Shillington, Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday, Ash Harrison. Interchange Corey Parker, Ben Te’o, Chris McQueen, Matt Gillett.

Source: Brisbane Times

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