Maroons

Ofahengaue out of Origin II

The injury means he will be unavailable for Origin II in Perth on June 23 and giving him little time to prove his fitness for the Holden State of Origin series finale in Sydney on July 10.

Newcastle veteran Tim Glasby, Storm forward Christian Welch, Titans prop Jarrod Wallace and Sharks forward Kurt Capewell would be the main candidates to replace Ofahengaue on Queensland's bench.

Broncos halfback Thomas Dearden limped from the field at Suncorp Stadium early on Sunday with a syndesmosis injury. 

Thaiday joins new-look Maroons coaching staff

With a nod to the future, Walters has added some exciting young guns to the Emerging Origin squad for the first time, including Jake Clifford, David Fifita, Phillip Sami and AJ Brimson. 

The weekend will mark the first opportunity for Walters and newly-appointed Maroons assistants Justin Hodges and Johnathan Thurston to work together alongside Queensland’s next generation.

Walters announced the Maroons’ new coaching and support team in November last year as part of a “fresh approach” ahead of the 2019 Holden State of Origin series.

Hodges, Civoniceva, Thurston, Slater to join Maroons coaching staff

Maroons coach Kevin Walters confirmed the additions of the four former Maroons as part of a "fresh approach" ahead of Queensland's 2019 campaign.

Hodges will join Camp Maroon as an assistant coach, while Civoniceva comes in as a team manager.

The recently retired duo of Thurston and Slater will be involved in a coaching and mentoring capacity throughout different stages of the series.

Together, the decorated Queensland quartet played an astonishing 125 State of Origin matches for the Maroons and are outstanding role models and community leaders.

Billy Slater goes out with a win

Queensland provided one final highlight for stand-in skipper Slater, downing NSW 18-12 in State of Origin III in Brisbane in a fitting farewell for the veteran fullback.

Polarising Maroons playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans was a standout after ending three years in the Origin wilderness.

After his 31st and final Origin, Slater said it was vital for the Maroons' future that he helped deny the Blues their first series whitewash in 18 years.

Blues on high alert as Cook rates Ponga best player in game

Cook rated Ponga the best player in the NRL Telstra Premiership this season and the man that could single-handedly ruin plans of the Blues securing just their second series victory in 13 years.

With a mission of his own to terrorise rucks late in both halves, the 26-year-old expects to see more of Queensland's utility off the bench than he did of Anthony Milford in game one.

Ponga leads the NRL in tackle breaks (116), line break assists (13) and kick return metres with 871 in total.

Milford chooses Samoa over Origin as four players defect to NZ

The 23 year old played in Queensland's Game One State of Origin defeat against New South Wales earlier this month but will be unavailable for Game Two on Sunday after opting to represent Samoa.

Milford played in Samoa's Pacific Test defeat by England last May but missed the World Cup due to a shoulder injury.

Manly winger Jorge Taufua is set to make his debut for Samoa, having previously represented Tonga, however four former Toa Samoa internationals have switched allegiance to New Zealand ahead of the Kiwis controversial test against England in Denver this weekend.

Lockyer: Walters decision will boost Maroons

Walters is a selector as well as a coach of the Maroons side and said in a statement that the "perception of my impartiality" was one of the reasons why he decided to remove himself from a club role.

Walters attended the launch of the 2018 Holden State of Origin Series in Melbourne on Tuesday where he said: "the level of interest at the media conference reinforced how privileged I am to be the head coach of a Maroons team which means so much to the people of Queensland."

NSW Blues players rally around coach Laurie Daley amid uncertain future

aley is off contract at the end of this series and speculation is rife that the coach — who has been tormented by close losses to one of the greatest sides in rugby league history — is ready to walk away.

With just one series win — the 2014 cliffhanger — to hang his hat on, it’s possible, perhaps even likely, that Daley would not have his contract renewed by the NSWRL should his side fail at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday.

However, win and he will have a record of two series wins and three losses from five attempts, a commendable effort given the quality of the opposition.

Teen tasked with getting Maroons Fifita-ready

When the Blues posted a record winning score against the Maroons in Game One it was Fifita who was crowned Man of the Match after a dominant performance that drew comparisons with Queensland's favourite front-rower Arthur Beetson, but the Maroons were much better prepared for Game Two.

In the lead-up to the clash in Sydney the likes of Coen Hess and Dylan Napa took turns emulating the bulk and running style of Fifita during training sessions but for Sunday's final opposed session the role of Fifita was played by 17-year-old Broncos under-20s prop Payne Haas.

Fifita to 'memory bank' Maroons baiting

Fifita, whose Game Two was noticeably quieter than his Game One pyrotechnics, also said he has no issue with the Maroons putting extra effort into keeping him quiet.

Their tactic of swamping him opened up chances for his fellow forwards and earned the Blues a couple of penalties – the only problem was how his team failed to manage the game in the second half, he said.

"Yeah I did feel it (them putting extra attention on me) to be honest," Fifita said after the game.