Test selectors help Qld's Origin cause - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Test selectors help Qld's Origin cause

By Wayne Heming 04/05/2009 01:49:23 PM Comments (0)

Australian selectors have handed Mal Meninga's maroons a big State of Origin advantage by naming an all Queensland backline for Friday night's Test showdown with New Zealand.

Provided winger Darius Boyd (thigh) is cleared to play, Queensland players will occupy every backline position in the Australian side for the first time in 85 years.

It effectively means Queensland, who also have the starting front-row, will go into next month's opening Origin game in Melbourne on June 3 well tuned from played together while NSW will be a new team, virtually starting from scratch.

Storm centre Greg Inglis said the players were all totally focussed on winning the Test match against New Zealand.

But he conceded the selectors had done Queensland a big Origin favour as the Maroons chase a record fourth straight series win.

"It definitely gives us a chance to reconnect our combinations with Izzy (Israel Folau) and Hodgo (Justin Hodges) on the right and me and Darius (Boyd) on the left with JT (Johnathan Thurston) and Lockyer in the halves," said Inglis.

"Getting all those combinations back together will definitely help Queensland in the first Origin game down in Melbourne."

Australia's potent backline was talked up before the World Cup final but failed to deliver, a point not lost on Inglis.

"Some people said it's the greatest backline Australia has ever selected.

"But if you look at it, we had a great backline last year and we couldn't fulfil the dream of winning the World Cup."

Folau, who'll have the task of going head to head with giant Kiwis winger Manu "The Beast" Vatuevi, agreed with his Queensland and Australian teammate.

"I'm sure NSW would like an Origin hit out like that," said the high-leaping 20 year-old who was the youngest player ever turn out for Australia when he made his Test debut in 2007.

"It's great all our backs are getting a run.

"It's good for Origin and hopefully we'll all make the Queensland team as well.

Folau felt for Broncos teammate Karmichael Hunt who missed Test selection after playing in the 2008 World Cup final and being one of former Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart's favourite players.

"K (Hunt) has been in great form and it's unfortunate he's missed out but we've got some great fullbacks in the game like Billy (Slater)," said Folau.

Inglis arrived in Test camp on Monday still mystified by reports he'd packed on weight from last season.

"I weighed 105kg, 106kgs going into the World Cup, I don't know where that came from," said the man simply known as GI.

"They said I got up to 112kg.

"I think it was the hair and the beard that was attracting the attention.

"People were calling me a Ruben Wiki lookalike.

"I don't think I'll ever get that big, I never want to be big enough to play in the front-row."

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