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With Queensland today naming their team (or to be more correct, their squad) for the State of Origin decider, the build-up to the most anticipated Origin showdown in years edges closer.
We hand it over to our NRL Daily hosts John Gibbs and Adrian Lam to decipher Meniga’s decisions in tonight’s show.
In a clear sign that this Origin campaign hasn’t been as smooth as the Maroons’ previous six series victories, Mal has reserved the right to juggle his line-up and play mind games with the Blues by naming a squad.
This leads Gibbsy to believe “Queensland aren’t completely settled” and “it shapes as their biggest challenge during the reign as origin champions”.
The hottest talking point is of course the fullback position.
“If Slater is not fit, Bowen starting is a sure thing,” says Gibbsy. “Even if Slater is fit, Bowen will be selected on the bench in case Slater gets injured, he can play a utility role. Queensland cannot afford for Slater to go down.”
Ben Barba was the other name thrown around as a potential replacement for Slater prior to the team being announced, and with his standout performance against the Storm in Round 16 many will still believe he deserved a spot.
However, Maroons legend Adrian Lam agrees with his omission, saying “it’s too big a game for a debut”.
Keep watching NRL Daily throughout the week for more in-depth discussion on Origin III as well as insider interviews with the players and all the latest news.
Stepping back into Telstra Premiership mode, the panel take a call from referees boss Stuart Raper to discuss the key decisions from Round 16 and responding to Ivan Cleary’s opinion on golden point extra-time.
Get all this and more in tonight's episode of NRL Daily, the only NRL show that's on every night of the week.
Stream it on the NRL.com homepage from 7:00pm tonight, watch it on the official NRL mobile site (Telstra customers only. Action Pack required. Click here for more details) or Telstra T-BOX. You can also watch the best NRL Daily videos on your iPhone with the official NRL iPhone App (Official Pass required. Click here for more details)