Prince speaks out over Origin snubbing - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Prince speaks out over Origin snubbing

By Daniel Pace 14/05/2008 07:04:16 PM Comments (0)

Messages of support have eased the pain for Scott Prince following his State of Origin snubbing but the Gold Coast playmaker says his omission from the Queensland squad "still doesn't sit right with me".

The reverberations of Prince's stunning non-selection at five-eighth continues to take the gloss off the Maroons' preparation for the series opener in Sydney on Wednesday night.

"It's very disappointing," Titans co-captain Prince said.

"I was quietly confident that I might get an opportunity but it wasn't to be.

"I had a feeling that something like this might happen and it has."

Brisbane fullback Karmichael Hunt will wear the No.6 jersey for the Maroons, despite never having started at five-eighth in the NRL.

Champion pivot Darren Lockyer could miss the entire series with a knee injury.

Prince, undoubtedly the form player in the NRL, said he was overwhelmed by the support from the public, family and friends since the Queensland squad was announced on Tuesday.

"The support on the Gold Coast has been amazing," said Prince, who played all three of his Origins in 2004.

"Not only that but family and friends have sent through voice and text messages which has sort of eased the pain.

"It still doesn't sit right with me but at the end of the day I have to move on and focus all my attentions on the Gold Coast Titans."

Prince, 28, said it had been tough concentrating on Friday night's NRL clash with the Bulldogs at Skilled Park but he was glad he could now move on.

"All the speculation in the paper and the media leading up to the team announcement, it is quite relieving knowing what lies ahead," he said.

"At the moment I know where I stand and that's with the Titans."

Prince said he would still watch the series opener on television and barrack for the Maroons as they chase a third consecutive series win.

"I'm a proud Queenslander and although I'm disappointed, I'll always support the Maroons and I'll always back them," he said.

"I just want to wish all the boys the best and hopefully they can win the series again."

Serious question marks have been raised over whether Hunt can handle the extra defensive load, with NSW five-eighth Greg Bird already promising he'll be heavily targeted.

In his 89 NRL games, Hunt has exceeded 10 tackles only twice in a match.

Prince will be waiting in the wings if Hunt proves a liability at five-eighth.

At least Hunt will be able to plug into the invaluable resources of Lockyer, who has entered the Maroons camp on the Gold Coast to help their preparation.

"I think having the best number six helping me out is going to be a huge bonus for me," Hunt said.

"I've never played five-eighth at NRL level, let alone making my first appearance at State of Origin level.

"It's going to be a big step up but one I'm confident I can do."

Coach Mal Meninga could move Inglis closer to the action in defence but in attack the Melbourne player would be far more lethal out wide.

"I don't where I'll play yet, whether I'll play five-eighth or K ( Hunt) does," said Inglis.

The Maroons will train twice on Thursday in between a promotion with the Cancer Council Queensland.

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