Smith urges aggression from Myles successor
Nate Myles had knocked Paul Gallen to the ground before the kick-off to Game One had even been caught and Queensland captain Cameron Smith says his replacement in Game Two needs to bring the same intent.
Warriors forward Jacob Lillyman has been brought into the Maroons' 17 as replacement for Myles who suffered a knee injury in Manly's 31-24 loss to the Panthers on Sunday with coach Kevin Walters to add two further players to the squad following Monday night's clash between the Cowboys and Sharks.
The starting spot in the Maroons' front row is expected to go to either Josh McGuire or Lillyman and Smith said that whoever gets the nod to run out onto Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday night needs to be ready for the intensity that comes in the opening 20 minutes of interstate games.
"Nate plays with a lot of aggression, that's what he's done for us for a long time," Smith said as the team assembled in Brisbane on Monday afternoon.
"He always gets our team away to a good start and I know Josh has played that way for a few seasons now for the Broncos and I think it showed how good he's going with his Test debut a couple of months ago.
"He played extremely well in that game so if he gets a chance to start – we haven't spoken about our line-up – but if he gets a chance to start then I'm sure he'll do a good job.
"He's got a huge motor for a middle forward and he's quite a young guy who is very enthusiastic about his footy – as we all are – so I think he'd be pretty keen to take that opportunity and play well."
Myles was ruled out of the team for Game Two following consultation between the Sea Eagles club doctor and also the Queensland team doctor and will be meeting with a surgeon in Sydney on Tuesday to ascertain the extent of the injury.
Should the damage be minor and he is able to return to the field in the coming weeks Walters said he will be given every opportunity to earn a 31st Origin cap in Game Three.
"Once he gets his knee right, if that's going to be right for Game Three he'll be considered," Walters said.
"He played his 30th game for Queensland and that's always been the way with Queensland, to reward those that have worn the jersey well in the past and that's certainly the case with Nate. He deserves every opportunity and if he can get his knee right, for sure.
"He was keen to come up here and try and get the knee right but after our doctor saw the scans and in conjunction with the Manly medical staff he was obviously not going to be any chance at all to get himself right for Game Two."
After conceding in the lead-up to Game One that not even his own grandfather thought he should be picked for Queensland, Myles's place in the team was questioned by many despite his decorated decade of service for his state.
Myles played 27 minutes in Game One after playing 24 minutes in his first stint and Walters said anyone who doubts his importance to the team doesn't appreciate the role he has played in Queensland's unprecedented run of success.
"I thought he was outstanding for us. People like to criticise but I challenge anyone in the room to go out and do what Nate Myles did in Game One for the first 25 minutes," Walters said.
"The thing about Nate that everybody needs to understand is that the players love playing with him. They get a lot of comfort when he's in the side and he won't be there for Game Two and it does leave a void.
"He's played 30 Origins and a lot of those have been winning Origins so it's up to someone to pick up the slack, pick up what Nate brings to the team and do that when they run out there on Wednesday night.
"I feel really sad that Nate's not playing but it was really hard leaving Jacob out of Game One. I thought he had a tremendous game in Game Three of last year's Series and to miss out in Game One of this year was really disappointing for him.
"We like to reward those that have served the jersey well in the past and Jacob was really unlucky to miss out for Game One and he's been in good form for the Warriors as well.
"I haven't seen him play a bad game for Queensland and while it's big shoes to fill for him he's more than capable."