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Cowboys team-mates Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Murray Taulagi will be battling it out for Origin II selection in Friday night's Telstra Premiership clash with St George Illawarra at QCB Stadium.

Tabuai-Fidow and Taulagi were members of the extended Queensland squad for Origin I and Maroons coach Billy Slater is looking to one of them to replace the injured Xavier Coates for the trip to Perth.

Coates suffered a syndesmosis injury in the first half of Wednesday night's 16-10 defeat of NSW at Accor Stadium and is awaiting the results of scans to determine how long he will be out.

Xavier Coates was forced from the field in Origin I
Xavier Coates was forced from the field in Origin I ©Gregg Porteous/ NRL Photos

However, Slater is resigned to being without the Storm winger for Origin II on June 26 and has confirmed that either Tabuai-Fidow or Taulagi was likely to replace him. 

“We’ve got Murray Taulagi, who has been in camp all week, and also Hamiso. It will be one of those two,” Slater said.

“Those guys weren’t here for the experience, they were here because they deserved a spot. I would have been comfortable throwing any of those guys a Maroons jersey.”

Tabuai-Fidow made his Origin debut in the final game of last year's series as a centre but he is equally comfortable on the wing or at fullback, where he started the season for North Queensland before suffering a PCL injury in round four.

Putting down the Hammer: Tabuai-Fidow is one of the quickest players in the NRL
Putting down the Hammer: Tabuai-Fidow is one of the quickest players in the NRL ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

Since his return in round eight, the Cowboys speedster has played as an interchange utility, wing and centre.

Taulagi has played all 13 matches this season on the left wing, scoring eight tries outside Maroons centre Valentine Holmes.

Taulagi breaks into the clear against Wests Tigers earlier this season
Taulagi breaks into the clear against Wests Tigers earlier this season ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

Cowboys coach Todd Payten said Holmes was likely to back up from Origin for the match against St George Illawarra but Queensland forwards Reuben Cotter and Jeremiah Nanai are out. 

Nanai, 19, suffered an ankle injury and had to be helped from the field but returned late in the match - much to Payten's relief.

“I was petrified; my phone went alight,” Payten said. “I was really pleased to see him come back on.

“He’s still a kid, so he’s learning the difference between being hurt and injured.

“I guess playing for your state, living out your childhood dream, he’s pushed through some pain and he’s got back out on the pitch.”

 

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