Origin loyalty put to the test
BRISBANE ? Loyalty, the cornerstone of many Queensland victories, will be put to the test with Rockhampton rocket Rhys Wesser and Scott Prince battling to retain their State of Origin spots.
Queensland selectors have shown an almost unwavering loyalty to incumbent players in the past, to the point of picking them when their club form has been down. But with Queensland desperate to avoid a third straight series loss to the Blues, chairman Des Morris and co-selectors Gene Miles and Allan Smith are under pressure to make some tough calls in key positions which are currently borderline. Maroons certainties are Darren Lockyer at five-eighth, Shaun Berrigan in the centres, Test lock Tonie Carroll (provided he gets through this weekend's clash with the Cow- boys), Cameron Smith at hooker and prop Petero Civoniceva.
"There's a few fullback contenders, wing, centre, five-eighth's pretty right, and there's a few in the race for halfback,'' said Morris. "In the forwards there's a couple of back-rowers who are short on match fitness like Mick Crocker and TC (Tonie Carroll). "I guess half the positions are picked. "But there's those four or five contentious positions that we have to wait and see who is available after the weekend because things can change quickly with an injury or two.'' The biggest call will be on Prince's No.7 jumper with North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston one more big game away from convincing the selectors he's the man for the job. Prince was rock solid in all three games last year.