Queensland coach Billy Slater has hosed down fears after backing two rookie wingers for the second State of Origin encounter.
The Maroons mentor delivered an enormous rap to Broncos flyer Corey Oates, who Murray Taulagi beat for the vacant Queensland wing, however he insisted the Cowboys gun deserved his shot in Perth.
Taulagi will make his Queensland debut on Sunday night time after Melbourne speedster Xavier Coates suffered an ankle harm in recreation one.
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Taulagi will cowl the Maroons’ left wing as Broncos whiz-kid Selwyn Cobbo retains his spot on the appropriate – and Slater is comfy with the choice name.
“I feel they’ve each earned their spot on this squad. Murray was within the 22 for recreation one and I mentioned proper from the beginning that these 5 guys exterior the 17 weren’t right here for an expertise or weren’t right here for a vacation; they have been right here as a result of they’d earned the chance to be right here and so they have been subsequent in line,” Slater instructed 9’s 100% Footy in a cross from the Maroons camp.
“(Taulagi) was actually shut for choice in recreation one. He is been doing large issues up there on the Cowboys and been a giant a part of why they’re having a profitable 12 months. By his actions he is earned his alternative. He will be subsequent to Valentine Holmes (who) he performs subsequent to each week, in order that’s a bonus. Murray’s actually earned his alternative.”
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Taulagi has snared 9 tries from 15 video games this season and produced some superlative finishes.
He additionally arrange a Cowboys strive with an otherworldly move in Magic Spherical, hurling the footy again in whereas airborne over the left touchline to arrange a Scott Drinkwater four-pointer.
Wests Tigers halfback Jackson Hastings was wrestling with Taulagi in a determined bid to sort out him into contact, however that did not cease the red-hot expertise from touchdown the ball proper in Drinkwater’s mitts.
Cowboys weapon Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow had been jostling with Taulagi and Oates for the Maroons’ accessible wing spot, however he failed a head harm evaluation throughout North Queensland’s win in opposition to Manly final Friday night time.
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Slater advised it was a decent race between Taulagi and Oates, who’s bagged 12 tries in 14 video games this season.
“I do not know if I’ve seen Corey play higher soccer, and he has performed for Queensland, so he is proper there abouts, as properly,” Slater mentioned.
“I feel we’re fairly snug with our beginning 17, however these 5 guys which can be exterior it – they’re right here for a motive.”
North Queensland’s Tom Dearden, Brisbane’s Oates and Thomas Flegler, Gold Coast’s Beau Fermor and the Warriors’ Reece Walsh make up the Maroons’ prolonged squad.
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