Morgan called in as Cherry-Evans cover
Cowboys five-eighth Michael Morgan has been called into the Maroons camp for Game One of the Holden State of Origin Series as speculation mounts that Daly Cherry-Evans will have to withdraw due to a shoulder injury sustained against the Panthers on Monday night.
Having had scans on his shoulder on Tuesday morning Cherry-Evans was en route to Brisbane when the Queensland team was announced on Tuesday afternoon before joining up with the squad for their first training run at the Queensland Academy of Sport on Tuesday afternoon.
Cherry-Evans took no part in the session, instead engaging in deep discussions with coach Mal Meninga and the Maroons' medical staff as to the extent of the injury.
While some reports surfaced suggesting that Cherry-Evans had been ruled out, the Queensland Rugby League said that a decision would not be made until Tuesday as they confirmed Morgan would be joining the camp.
Although Morgan shapes as almost the perfect Origin utility, Meninga also suggested that the size of the New South Wales bench could entice him to promote 18th man Dylan Napa into the team and go for a four forward rotation on the bench.
Earlier Broncos prop Josh McGuire was the sole debutant named by Meninga for Game One in Sydney next Wednesday night. As Queensland attempt to wrest back the trophy that was in their sole possession for a record eight years, Meninga has resisted any temptation to institute generational change, naming a squad of 17 boasting 270 games of Origin experience between them.
Like McGuire, Cherry-Evans has been named on the Queensland bench but will be assessed by the Queensland medical team on Wednesday before a decision is made as to whether he will be able to take his place in the team.
Having played just two games since rupturing his Achilles tendon in the pre-season Darius Boyd has been named to make his 21st Origin appearance with Will Chambers selected on the other wing in his second Origin game.
Dave Taylor and Ben Te'o are the only players missing from the Maroons team that won the third and final match of the 2014 Series 32-8.
XXXX Queensland Maroons to play NSW in Game One on May 27: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Darius Boyd, 3 Greg Inglis, 4 Justin Hodges, 5 Will Chambers, 6 Johnathan Thurston, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Matt Scott, 9 Cameron Smith (c), 10 Nate Myles, 11 Aidan Guerra, 12 Sam Thaiday, 13 Corey Parker. Interchange: 14 Daly Cherry-Evans, 15 Josh McGuire, 16 Matt Gillett, 17 Jacob Lillyman. 18th man: Dylan Napa.