Qld set to lose Arrow for Origin series

An ankle injury has Gold Coast forward Jai Arrow in doubt for Queensland in State of Origin II.
An ankle injury has Gold Coast forward Jai Arrow in doubt for Queensland in State of Origin II.

Barely 24 hours before naming his side, Queensland coach Kevin Walters has been forced to re-jig his forward pack after news Jai Arrow will be sidelined for up to three months with injury.

Fortunately the Maroons are not short of replacements with Tim Glasby, Christian Welch and Jarrod Wallace believed to be fighting it out for two vacancies ahead of June 23's State of Origin II in Perth.

Walters was left reeling after confirmation from NRL club Gold Coast that Titans prop Arrow had suffered "significant ankle ligament damage" in Friday night's NRL loss to the Warriors.

He will consult a surgeon on Monday but has been ruled out for six to 12 weeks.

It is another injury blow for Walters who will name his Origin II team on Sunday night.

Besides losing starting prop Arrow, Walters is also without bench forward Joe Ofahengaue who suffered a gashed knee during Queensland's come from behind 18-14 Origin I victory.

However, Walters appears to face a welcome selection headache with Glasby, Welch and Wallace putting their hands up ahead of game two.

It is believed Glasby is front of the queue after being named 18th man for Origin I, with Welch next in line.

Walters is a major fan of the no-frills Glasby, who has impressed in his three Origins since his 2017 debut.

And it is believed Welch would have been in the frame for Origin I if he had not suffered a knee meniscus injury in the Storm's round 10 win over Wests Tigers.

There is speculation Walters will move bench forward Dylan Napa into the front row for Origin II and add Glasby and Welch onto the interchange for the WA showdown.

Bulldogs recruit Napa started the first two Origins last year at prop before a hamstring injury ruled him out of the final dead rubber.

But Wallace, who has played five Origins since his 2017 debut, is backing himself to reclaim his Maroons jersey after strong club form.

He lost his spot for Origin I after a disappointing NRL season start and copping criticism for not making a bigger impact in the Maroons' starting front row last year.

However, he has turned in three impressive performances since the Maroons' squad for the series opener was named.

"I won't let no-one down. I want my jersey back," Wallace told AAP.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy believed not only Welch but also ex-Storm forward Glasby were ready for Maroons honours.

"Yes I think so. I'm not picking the team but you think one of those guys would probably go in," he said.

Asked about Glasby's Origin hopes, Knights coach Nathan Brown said: "He's three Origins for three wins so he might be their lucky charm."

Predicted Queensland Origin II team: Kalyn Ponga, Corey Oates, Michael Morgan, Will Chambers, Dane Gagai, Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans (capt), Dylan Napa, Ben Hunt, Josh Papalii, Felise Kaufusi, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire. Interchange: Moses Mbye, Tim Glasby, David Fifita, Christian Welch.

Australian Associated Press