Hannant the unlucky Maroon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hannant the unlucky Maroon

By Wayne Heming 28/06/2010 07:49:39 PM Comments (0)

Queensland Origin coach Mal Meninga had to make a tough telephone call on Monday night to break the bad news to unlucky Maroons forward Ben Hannant.

With giant Penrith prop Petero Civoniceva playing his way back into the No.10 Queensland jumper for the 26th time for Origin III on July 7, Hannant was the player to miss out.

Selectors are expected to stick with Matt Scott and Dave Shillington in their quest a first clean sweep since 1995.

Civoniceva will come into the starting front-row with Scott which is the way Queensland started in their 28-24 win in Origin I in Sydney.

Shillington was the players' player after Origin II with Scott not far behind.

While Hannant had played six Origins, the fact the Bulldogs are struggling and his match fitness is behind both Scott and Shillington were factors in the decision.

Meninga didn't reveal which player had drawn the Origin short straw, although it's believed Hannant was the player to miss out.

"I guess that's one of the ordinary jobs a coach has got," said Meninga following a 90-minute selectors' meeting in Brisbane on Monday afternoon.

"What can you say? It's unfortunate we've got a fully fit side and we can only fit 17 players in.

"Again we've been faithful. We've picked a side that we think will do the job in game three.

"I guess the flip side is all our players are fit and rarin' to go if we get through tonight's game (Canberra and Bulldogs).

"We'll see what happens in that game but predominantly our team remains unchanged."

That's been Queensland's big plus, especially in this series where apart from blooding Cooper Cronk, Dave Taylor and hooker Matt Ballin, they haven't made a change except for the hand injury to Civoniceva after the first game.

Meninga said Queensland's depth had improved in recent years with the emergence of a lot of players on the verge of Origin.

Brisbane forward Ben Te'o was 18th man for Origin I with his Bronco teammate, Jharal Yow Yeh, handed the job for the second game.

Selectors may stick with one of those players although the great NRL form of South Sydney's 102kg Toowoomba back-rower Ben Lowe gives him a good chance of tasting Origin.

Lowe's name was thrown at before the first and second Origins and his club form since has continued to catch the eye.

Queensland selectors will name their 17-man squad on Tuesday with Meninga keen for his players to finish the job they let slip last year when they lost the third game and the chance of a clean sweep.

"The current group are in the mindset that while they've won the series again, they've still got one more step to go before the job is done properly," Meninga said.

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