AAP Rugby

Maroons give injured Napa Origin deadline

By AAP Newswire

They may be no strangers to a comeback but a desperate Queensland admit they must overcome the "fear factor" in Sunday's must-win State of Origin game two in Sydney to keep the series alive.

Maroons coach Kevin Walters conceded their history of getting up off the canvas to win the series time and again was no consolation for a new-look Queensland unveiled on Monday.

And Walters appeared to be feeling the pressure, cutting a cranky figure as he unveiled an alphabetical 18-strong Origin II squad that included debutant Kalyn Ponga and injury concerns Billy Slater and Dylan Napa.

Walters calmed down enough to claim veteran fullback Slater (hamstring) was "ready to go" ahead of his 30th Origin after missing game one but fiery Sydney Roosters prop Napa (ankle) must prove his fitness by Wednesday.

Melbourne's Tim Glasby is on standby for Napa.

In their first season without their Big Three, Queensland have their backs against the wall after their 22-12 game one loss to a new-look NSW.

Beginning life without Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk, the Maroons must win on Sunday to have a chance to extend their stunning run of 11 series victories in 12 years.

Walters admitted they had come back from a "worse place" last year, hitting back from a record home game one loss to claim yet another series.

But Walters admitted the Maroons would have to overcome the "fear factor" to match the Blues at ANZ Stadium.

"The fear factor is there for every Origin," he said.

"If we are realists they (NSW) were the better team and we've got to get up to the level they played in game one."

Asked why Queensland can win game two, Maroons selectors boss Gene Miles said: "Desperation."

And Walters at times looked like a desperate man at the team announcement, getting uncharacteristically testy with reporters.

At one stage Walters even took offence to being asked why he had named an alphabetical squad.

"Because we are not sure of Dylan Napa. Is it too hard for everyone to work out?" Walters said.

Queensland are convinced Slater will play but Napa is their "biggest concern".

"Dylan says he wants every opportunity to play and we will go with that because he is an important part of the team - we need his aggression," Miles said.

Glasby is on standby after playing the last two games of 2017, helping Queensland plug their defensive holes following a record Origin I loss last year.

Ponga - just 20 - will make his long-awaited debut as a bench utility replacing Brisbane's Anthony Milford after Michael Morgan (biceps) was ruled out for the season.

"Let's hope we can get him into the game and he can show us what he has done the previous 12 months," Miles said of popular pick Ponga.

QUEENSLAND: Jai Arrow, Will Chambers, Gavin Cooper, Dane Gagai, Tim Glasby, Coen Hess, Valentine Holmes, Ben Hunt, Greg Inglis, Felise Kaufusi, Andrew McCullough, Josh McGuire, Cameron Munster, Dylan Napa, Josh Papalii, Kalyn Ponga, Billy Slater, Jarrod Wallace.