Origin: Shillington backs 'older blokes' Billy and JT

Lynette Rowe
June 14, 2017

The new-look Queensland side facing the VB Blues in Origin II will be more unsafe than the team the Maroons fielded in Game One, according to NSW coach Laurie Daley.

The injured Anthony Milford is out of the side, while Queensland veterans Aidan Guerra, Jacob Lillyman, Sam Thaiday and Nate Myles have all been axed from the forward pack.

The last time Queensland made six or seven changes to their 17 was way back in the second game of 2002.

With Queensland down 1-0 following a thumping loss in the series opener, Walters and the Maroons selectors are under pressure to make changes.

Billy Slater returns at fullback, pushing Darius Boyd to either the wing or centres, while Thurston shapes as a massive inclusion as he returns from injury to start at five-eighth outside Cooper Cronk. "We went to plan B, which was always in our plans, to bring some new players in", Maroons coach Kevin Walters said. "We just weren't sure what was going on with Jarrod at the judiciary, and a couple of other positions but we will sort that out tomorrow where everyone is playing", Walters said in Mackay for Queensland's fan day.

"For as long as I've remembered I've wanted to play for Queensland and to now have that opportunity, it's something I'll cherish forever".

"It's not next year, or the year after".

The 33-year-old will next week play his first game for Queensland since game two of the 2015 series.

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The charge had the potential to rub Wallace out of his anticipated Origin debut against NSW in Game II, but the 25-year-old is instead free to play alongside fellow Maroons debutants Valentine Holmes, Tim Glasby and Coen Hess.

The biggest bolter is Melbourne prop Glasby while Gold Coast front rower Wallace has also been called up to debut after being 18th man in game one.

"(The turnaround) makes a hell of a difference in terms of recovery, so we've had to restructure our changing plan", Daley said.

"We feel if our players can stand up in that area we have the class around those guys to get the result for Queensland".

The 114kg wrecking ball has played just 22 NRL games, but clinched his maiden Maroons jumper with his 10th try of the season in North Queensland's 32-6 rout of the Eels on Saturday night in Darwin.

"You can't really say that about a rugby league side, that you got beaten in the forwards and still win a game".

"He was a bit rusty but had some nice touches for the Cowboys".

"It was hard leave him out of the side", Walters said of Oates.

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