State of Origin: Qld Maroons’ Reece Walsh scratched after injury heartbreak

Injury in Queensland’s last coaching run has scuppered Reece Walsh’s much-hyped State of Origin debut.

The 18-year-old fullback was set to function for the Maroons after simply seven NRL video games within the host’s must-win conflict at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

He was scratched on Saturday night time although, the Maroons reporting a low-grade hamstring pressure suffered within the late phases of the group’s behind-closed-doors captain’s run.

Cronulla winger Ronaldo Mulitalo, who has been with the squad as an emergency all week, will debut as an alternative and Valentine Holmes will revert to fullback.

Talk all week had surrounded Walsh’s shock call-up, {the teenager} not even amongst Brisbane’s high 30 in the beginning of the season in a name that prompted his early launch to the Warriors.

Mulitalo, 21, will as an alternative be the shock debutant, the Sharks winger narrowly avoiding knee surgical procedure this season and coming into calculations after the Maroons’ report 50-6 series-opening loss in Townsville.

“I’m sure they’ll be right,” NSW coach Brad Fittler stated of the injury drama.

Reece Walsh won’t make his Origin debut in Brisbane on Sunday.
Reece Walsh received’t make his Origin debut in Brisbane on Sunday. Credit: Getty

“I’m surprised we haven’t heard anything earlier; we love the drama around Origin, that’s what makes it so great.

“It won’t change our game plan or game … it won’t be (a distraction) for us.

“They’ll have a player that’s played with them that’s been there with them for the entire time, they’ll be able to cover it.”

While all the main focus had been on Walsh and Queensland’s backline, Green has referred to as on his forwards to set the tone.

Cronulla Sharks young gun Ronaldo Mulitalo has earned his Queensland debut.
Cronulla Sharks younger gun Ronaldo Mulitalo has earned his Queensland debut. Credit: Getty

He was completely satisfied to listen to returning pack chief Josh Papalii had vowed to “take it personally” after suspension meant he was a helpless bystander within the opening recreation rout.

Blues centres Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic had been at their finest due to the platform laid by their greater males and Green is aware of that should change in Brisbane.

“We’re not going to stop him (Trbojevic) doing that (roaming on both sides of the field); it’s what he does well but being a bit more physical through the middle will help us handle those guys,” he stated.

“It’s an area, the middle part of the field, where it’s fair to say we were beaten in game one, so one we need to tighten up.

“It’s about controlling the play-the-ball better and if Josh said that (he’ll take it personally) that’s a good thing for us.

Paul Green
Queensland coach Paul Green has refused to be drawn into mind games with NSW before Origin II. Credit: AAP

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