Queensland coach Kevin Walters during Queensland State of Origin training at Langlands Park in Brisbane.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters during Queensland State of Origin training at Langlands Park in Brisbane. DARREN ENGLAND

Inside camp Maroon: Original prankster up to old tricks

Guessing game again for Blues

KEVVIE Walters is up to old tricks again, attempting to throw the Blues off the scent with more crafty selection guessing games.

Walters has long been regarded a prankster, and yesterday we saw a glimmer of that.

Michael Morgan (left) and Queensland coach Kevin Walters (right) are seen during Queensland State of Origin training at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Thursday, July 4, 2019.
Michael Morgan (left) and Queensland coach Kevin Walters (right) are seen during Queensland State of Origin training at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Thursday, July 4, 2019. DARREN ENGLAND

As the Queensland Maroons fine tuned their plays, calls and combinations, it was clear from the outset not all was as it seemed.

Moses Mbye had taken up a spot as the left-sided centre, Michael Morgan was calling shots and putting in kicks.

Corey Norman was predominantly playing left, receiving the ball from a slightly deeper, wider position than a traditional five-eigth.

Now it's been well documented that Morgan suffered a concussion at the weekend, and has been on light duties, but is this a sign of Walters' plotting an 11th hour change up?

David Fifita (centre) in action during Queensland State of Origin training at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Thursday, July 4, 2019.
David Fifita (centre) in action during Queensland State of Origin training at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Thursday, July 4, 2019. DARREN ENGLAND

Most will remember Morgan's cameos off the bench fondly, he'd pop up anywhere, backrow to centre, in a roving Mr Fixit role.

In that role, Morgan doesn't have to create, that's left to the halves. He just runs strong lines, and supports. Like Cooper Cronk did in the No.14 role, Morgan performed admirably.

Playing centre he struggles to get into the game - and he doesn't have the authority, as say Justin Hodges once did, to go looking for action. But that will come with games.

Daly Cherry-Evans in action during Queensland State of Origin training at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Thursday, July 4, 2019.
Daly Cherry-Evans in action during Queensland State of Origin training at Langlands Park in Brisbane, Thursday, July 4, 2019. DARREN ENGLAND

Mbye, for all his ability to play anywhere, for mine, can't play that role. Morgan is 5kg heavier than Mbye, and it helps.

Coast readers will hate me for this, particularly Noosa's, but I'm yet to be convinced by Mbye, especially at centre - which is such a crucial defensive position.

Switching Morgan back to the bench would help for balance, and stop wasting an interchange, but it could lead to the Maroons leaking points.

So I'll leave the thinking to much smarter league minds than me.

Feel good moment of the day

Matt Gillett (left) and Corey Norman (right) in action during Queensland State of Origin training at Langlands Park in Brisbane.
Matt Gillett (left) and Corey Norman (right) in action during Queensland State of Origin training at Langlands Park in Brisbane. DARREN ENGLAND

HOW good was young Billy Walters, getting his debut Melbourne Storm jersey off his old man last night. It had big Gordie Tallis in tears, and this journalist not far off too.

Such a special moment their whole family will cherish forever. He's an NRL player now.

Kevvie was granted an early released from Maroons camp yesterday to fly to Wollongong yesterday. You could tell he was excited.

Some things are more important than league and it shows.

Billy back to torment

CAMERON Munster received a kick return masterclass from the great Billy Slater.

Slater was swamped for autographs, and now, thanks to his St Kilda influence, kicks like an AFL player.

Munster is the man NSW most fear, and with Slater in his coaching corner, he could single-handedly wrestle back the shield.

Under the high ball, looking directly into the sun, Munster was peppered like a prime rib. Onlookers let out only two groans as he spilt the odd one here and there.

I'm sure his hands will be perfect on Wednesday.

Biggest poser

I was talking to a seasoned photographer about some of the players and he mentioned shooting the press pre-game build-up shots for the current crop.

He said Dane Gagai was the biggest poser in the team and he really gets into it.

It surprised me, I had Corey Norman has the odds on favourite.



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