Maroons to dump Taylor, pick Parker - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maroons to dump Taylor, pick Parker

Wayne Heming And David Beniuk 15/05/2011 06:14:31 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney giant Dave Taylor is expected to be dumped by Queensland selectors when they name their State of Origin side on Tuesday with Brisbane workhorse Corey Parker making a stunning return.

Maroons selectors, who will meet on Monday morning following an incident-packed NRL round, aren't convinced Taylor has stepped up in the absence of most of the injury-ravaged Rabbitohs pack.

They are also concerned about his ability to play big minutes in the middle if he is required to do so.

Taylor played all three Origin games from the bench in his debut series last year, but was recently criticised by Souths forwards coach and Queensland great Gorden Tallis.

Tallis said the 22-year-old had failed to do enough to win a place to take on NSW at Suncorp Stadium on May 25 and his respected opinion is expected to be proved right.

"Origin is the last thing on my mind. You go out trying to prove yourself, trying to cement a spot in Origin, and you normally come out second best," Taylor said after the Rabbitohs convincingly downed the Wests Tigers on Saturday night.

"I don't think I can do much more than what I did tonight.

"I knew I had to step up a little bit with my game, just with a lot of people out and a lot of young people.

"I tried to come in and do a few more hit-ups straight off the ruck instead of a little bit wider.

"I definitely feel like I'm playing better footy than last year. I feel like I'm defending a lot better and I'm definitely a lot fitter and I think it's showing in the games."

Parker is likely to grab one of two contentious bench spots and cap a remarkable return to Origin after an absence of six years.

The Brisbane lock, who offers more size and some extra weapons in attack, will be rewarded for his outstanding form over the past two NRL seasons.

"Corey has been ticking a lot of boxes and he gives us that extra size that he can play up front as well," said Maroons selector Gene Miles.

"He has been in great form the past two seasons and he can make an impact, play big minutes and kick goals so he offers a lot of versatility as well."

Parker will join Melbourne utility Cooper Cronk and Broncos prop Ben Hannant on the bench with the final spot still up for grabs.

Neville Costigan filled that role last year but won't be considered after making just his second appearance of the season for Newcastle on Sunday after eight weeks out with a broken arm.

North Queensland lock Dallas Johnson could be in the frame for the final bench spot following his return home from Super League this year.

Hannant has a slight cloud over his fitness after picking up a leg injury in Brisbane's loss to Penrith on Friday night.

Champion centre Greg Inglis will be named despite a hip injury which has him in some doubt, while centre partner Justin Hodges (hamstring) is expected to be replaced by Cowboy Willie Tonga.

The Maroons believe they will need to nurse Inglis through the first four or five days of Origin camp after he suffered his injury in last weekend's Test match against New Zealand.

Test winger Jharal Yow Yeh is the likely replacement for AFL defector Israel Folau from last year's team.

Likely Queensland team: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Willie Tonga, Jharal Yow Yeh, Darren Lockyer (capt), Johnathan Thurston, Matthew Scott, Cameron Smith, Petero Civoniceva, Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday, Ashley Harrison. Interchange: Cooper Cronk, Ben Hannant, Corey Parker, Dallas Johnson.

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