Almanac Rugby League – State of Origin: Game 2 selections


Queensland and NSW selectors sit down this weekend to finalise their teams for Game 2 in Sydney on Sunday, 24 June. They face contrasting tasks given the result of Game 1 and the stakes involved in Game 2.


Barring injuries or suspensions resulting from this weekend’s round of matches, the NSW committee will probably need only a brief telephone hook-up to confirm ‘no changes’. This means no call-up for Matt Moylan who has been in great form of late. Besides, whose place would he take? So it’s all looking good south of the Tweed.


Queensland is in a much more challenging position. It seems that the only change seriously contemplated for the backs would be the inclusion of Billy Slater if he is fit. If he’s not available, don’t be surprised to see Kalyn Ponga blooded in the No. 1 jersey with Michael Morgan relegated to the bench utility role. Milford just has to go as his form of late has been embarrassing.


The real problem is in the forwards and the defensive middle which was so brittle in Game 1. Matt Scott will be back, if fit, with Wallace to go to the bench. If there’s no Scott, some are calling for McGuire to go to the front row with Jai Arrow taking over at lock – big call! I expect Tim Glasby to return to the squad, possibly on the bench at the expense of Hess. Gavin Cooper will be having a few sleepless nights if Matt Gillett is fit. Joe Ofahengaue can’t be far away either and poor old Corey Oates will continue to be unlucky.


Given their history of loyalty, I think the Maroons will make minimal changes with Slater and Scott in, if fit, forcing Cooper and Milford to make way for them in the seventeen. It’s hard to see Gillett being there after so long out – but then McGuire did just that in Game 1. Wallace, being younger, may be the one to benefit most if Gillett isn’t available.


Let’s see what happens when the teams are announced on Sunday evening.



Ian Hauser plays with words better than he ever did with a football. Check out his editing services here.


About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A loyal Queenslander, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. Enjoys travel, coffee and cake, reading, and has been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. One of Footy Almanac's online editors who enjoys the occasional editing opportunity to assist aspiring writers.

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