HOW QUEENSLAND SHAPE UP FOR STATE OF ORIGIN II
Fullback - Reece Walsh
Becomes the most inexperienced player to run out in State of Origin since Ben Ikin during the Super League war. A big gamble by Queensland after just seven NRL games but has potential to be their x-factor.
Winger - Valentine Holmes
Goes back to the wing where he has proven a genuine try-scoring machine for the Maroons. All nine of his Origin tries have come in his six games on the wing.
Centre - Kurt Capewell
Has the tough job of shutting down Tom Trbojevic whenever the roving NSW centre is playing in his selected spot at Suncorp Stadium. Had a tough night in Game I but did score Queensland's only try.
Centre - Dane Gagai
Was given a bath by South Sydney teammate Latrell Mitchell in Townsville but is usually exceptional at Origin level. Queensland need him to stand up to stay in the series.
Winger - Kyle Feldt
Had a rough time on debut after needlessly giving away an early penalty and then finishing the night with an injury. Selectors have kept faith however, backing the Cowboys veteran to out-jump shorter opposite number Brian To'o.
Five-eighth - Cameron Munster
Is in a fitter state than he was for Game I, and the playmaker looms as Queensland's biggest threat. Missed five tackles in Townsville with his left edge desperately needing to step up.
Halfback - Daly Cherry-Evans (captain)
He rebounded brilliantly from Queensland's Game I loss by helping Manly pile on 50 points in each of two matches since. The captain has however admitted it was a tough one to get over.
Prop - Christian Welch
Was desperately missed by the Maroons in Game I after he suffered a concussion early. Will be charged with putting pressure on Nathan Cleary with his linespeed among the best in the game.
Hooker - Andrew McCullough
Gets an unlikely recall with Queensland banking on his reliability in both attack and defence to start the game. Will likely be replaced by Ben Hunt during the first half to open up the Maroons' running game.
Prop - Josh Papalii
Queensland's biggest in for Game II after the Canberra prop missed the series opener through suspension. Hasn't been at his best in 2021 but on his day can be the most destructive front-rower in the game.
Back-rower - Jai Arrow
Starts on an edge for just the second time in his NRL and State of Origin career after moving there for South Sydney after Game I. Will be a big body to try and shut down Nathan Cleary before moving into the middle.
Back-rower - Felise Kaufusi
Remains a threat for the Maroons as one of the best hole-runners in the game. Has made no secret of the fact he wants to turn the tables on Blues playmaker Jarome Luai after copping a gobful from him in Game I.
Lock - Tino Fa'asuamaleaui
Moves to lock to accommodate the return of Papalii at prop. Needs a better night at Suncorp after Queensland's middle were rolled in Townsville.
Comes in to replace the injured Harry Grant, but will be given the chance to make an impact off the bench. Is in form and has the running game to suit if the Maroons get on the front foot.
Goes back to the bench to make an impact after having a nightmare series opener in defence. At his best can break the game open but Queensland need a big improvement on Game I.
Easily Queensland's best in defence in the series opener after he got through 55 minutes following Christian Welch's concussion. Will be a workhorse for them again.
Called in to make his Origin debut after a solid start to the year for North Queensland. Will come off the bench and play in the middle for the Maroons.
Australian Associated Press