We wish Lyon had stayed retired: Maroons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We wish Lyon had stayed retired: Maroons

27/05/2009 06:23:35 PM Comments (0)

While NSW are unhappy Michael Crocker has found his way into a maroon Origin jumper, Queensland admitted on Wednesday they wished reluctant Blues centre Jamie Lyon had been left in representative retirement.

Desperate NSW selectors ignored Lyon's pleas earlier this month to be overlooked for Origin, after he failed to gain an exemption from representative football this season.

NSW coach Craig Bellamy said on Tuesday the sight of his former Storm enforcer Crocker - who failed to gain a visa clearance to play in the UK - charging up the field in a maroon jumper would be his "worst nightmare".

"I wish he'd gone to England ... I wish Queensland hadn't picked him," said Bellamy after Crocker was named in coach Mal Meninga's starting side for the series opening in Melbourne on June 3.

And Queensland feels exactly the same way about Manly's former Test centre Lyon, who had unofficially retired from representative football.

"They should have left him retired," Queensland selectors chairman Des Morris told a State of Origin lunch in Brisbane on Wednesday.

"Lyon worries me. He's a great asset to them and they've picked a very aggressive pack."

Morris said complacency remained a real enemy for Queensland following a hat-trick of series wins under Meninga since 2006.

NSW have picked eight rookies, a similar gamble to the one approved by Morris when Queensland won the opening game of the 2001 series with 10 rookies in their side under skipper Gorden Tallis.

"The biggest problem is complacency with everyone talking you up and constantly telling you how good you are," admitted Morris, who has been selecting Queensland sides for more than a decade.

"Everyone is jumping on Queensland's side, even some people south of the border, saying `how are they going to pick a side to beat us?'

"But NSW have picked a very good side and there won't be as much in it as people think."

Meanwhile Cowboys centre Willie Tonga has been placed on standby for Justin Hodges, still battling a dodgy hamstring which has forced him to miss Brisbane's last three NRL games.

Forward Nate Myles is receiving treatment for a hip injury but is not causing any concerns at this stage.

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