Clock ticking on Inglis fitness
It's known as the most physically demanding rugby league on earth and there must now be serious doubts that Greg Inglis will be at full health for the Maroons for Game One of the 2015 Holden State of Origin Series as he continues to battle a chest infection.
Inglis and Justin Hodges were both absent from the team's opposed session against Burleigh on Friday night and with only one other training session scheduled before the team leaves for enemy territory on Sunday afternoon Inglis's place in the team is in growing doubt.
Given his Origin record and contribution to Queensland's dominance over the past decade Inglis could walk into an Origin game cold and perform at his peak but only if his body is physically up to the demands of an interstate battle of attrition.
Inglis was sent for tests at a Gold Coast hospital on Friday but teammates such as Nate Myles have no doubt he will be there on Wednesday night when the teams take the field.
"'GI' and 'Hodgo' are both professionals at getting out of training so they will both be fine," said Myles.
"He was around the boys the other day so he has ducked out to get some tests done. The doc is doing his job. I wouldn't want to be the doc if he didn't get the situation right and GI missed the game because of him so I dare say he is being a bit protective."
Newcastle centre Dane Gagai was drafted into the squad on Thursday as cover in Inglis's absence and while named on the wing, Will Chambers said he will be ready to shift into his customary position at centre if Inglis is not fit to take his place in the team.
"If I have to I'll play there. We'll just have to see what happens," Chambers said on Saturday morning. "GI is a pretty special player and he'll do everything right to be there. We'll see how it all goes."
Despite the disruptions Myles said he was impressed by the opposed session on Friday night as the team looks to rectify their slow start to the Series last year where the Blues scored twice before half-time to set up a 12-8 win at Suncorp Stadium.
"Although there wasn't much contact and wrestle to it, I thought our shape and support and execution was pretty good [on Friday night]," Myles said.
"Mal (Meninga, Maroons coach) wanted to make sure our start is so important this year. We missed the start last year so we have to make sure we get it right."