Slater out, Bowen in for Origin III - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Slater out, Bowen in for Origin III

By Wayne Heming 27/06/2005 06:17:45 PM Comments (0)

Queensland pulled three daring selection gambles on Monday, including axing one of rugby league's most dynamic players for next week's Origin decider.

Electrifying Storm fullback Billy Slater lost his No.1 jumper to fleet-footed wizard Matt Bowen whose attacking genius was just too irresistible to ignore.

Fiery Sharks prop Danny Nutley will be let loose in his Origin debut at 31 years of age with selectors hoping the huge occasion will inspire something unforgettable from the chunky forward.

In the other gamble, Queensland refused to name a 17th player until Sunday, a move which will disrupt its preparations.

Bowen fans claim the pint-sized Cowboys fullback has been under-used in Queensland's past two Origin campaigns.

Now the 175cm dynamo has a chance in his eighth Origin to prove them right.

Queensland will not reveal its 17th player until after selectors check the form of veteran lock Tonie Carroll and utility Travis Norton who'll audition for the Origin with their respective NRL clubs at the weekend.

Carroll - who's played 13 Origins - will test out his troublesome calf against the Sharks and if he comes through is expected to get the nod.

Norton, who has a slight fitness edge on Carroll, continues his comeback from a serious arm injury for the Cowboys against the Warriors.

"We want to give those guys a chance to prove their fitness and we'll make a decision on Sunday night," said chairman of selectors Des Morris, who dismissed concerns about a player backing up for Origin so soon after a club game.

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