Push for Prince to be in Qld Origin side - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Push for Prince to be in Qld Origin side

By Wayne Heming 22/05/2008 05:06:02 PM Comments (0)

The push is on again for Queensland selectors to call up in-form Titans halfback Scott Prince.

A leading bookmaker was on Thursday quoting Prince at $1.72 to play in next month's return State of Origin clash after Queensland dropped the opening game of the series 18-10 to NSW in Sydney on Wednesday night.

With skipper Darren Lockyer unlikely to push his comeback for fear of jeopardising his NRL season with Brisbane, calls for Prince to play five-eighth have already started.

Karmichael Hunt wore Lockyer's No.6 jumper in game one but there's a feeling Prince would be able to offer more in attack with his creativity.

Hunt could return to fullback, be picked at lock after his bruising defensive efforts had a touch of Tonie Carroll about them, or even fill the utility role for Origin II.

Sportingbet Australia put up a "will they pick Prince" market as debate re-ignited about whether Queensland selectors would pick him after their talented backline, including young stars Greg Inglis and Israel Folau, failed to see much of the football on Wednesday night.

The agency also updated the series betting with Queensland out to $2.90 and the Blues $1.40.

"You would have to think they'd pick him in the 17 for Origin II," said Sportingbet Australia boss Michael Sullivan.

"He was very unlucky not to play in game one and, considering the lack of direction and spark shown by Queensland, he looks the obvious bloke to bring in.

"If Darren Lockyer is still injured, you'd have to think Prince would get the five-eighth jersey this time.

"And even if Lockyer plays, Prince would have to be some chance to get the utility spot on the bench."

Lockyer remained noncommittal about playing in the return Origin and also on whether Prince was the answer.

The champion playmaker is still another week or two away from running after minor surgery on his reconstructed right knee last week.

He's under pressure from the Broncos not to force a comeback that may set back his chances of being at his best form later in the season.

"My progress at this stage is I'm still not out there running yet," said Lockyer when the obvious question was thrust at him.

"Until I start back running, hopefully in the next week, I won't know where I'm at.

"I'd love to (play in the second Origin) but if I can't, I can't."

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