A pair of changes have been made to the Maroons side that took down the 12-man Blues in Origin I with Billy Slater’s men looking to claim a series three-peat.

Veteran back rowers Felise Kaufusi and Kurt Capewell have both been added to the interchange at the expense of Selwyn Cobbo and Game I debutant J’maine Hopgood.

Dane Gagai has been listed in Jersey No.18 with uncapped back rowers Heilum Luki and Trent Loiero also earning camp spots.

Kaufusi was Queensland’s replacement player in Game I at Accor Stadium and ended up playing 27 minutes as a result of Joseph-Aukuso Sua’ali’i’s send-off.

Capewell meanwhile has not played Origin since 2022’s decider where he scored a decisive try.

Slater’s decision to drop Cobbo came as a shock to many after the 22-year-old’s 167-metre, nine-tackle break effort in Game I.

“Selwyn is not quite 100 per cent at the moment,” Slater told reporters.

“He’s been playing with injections and that sort of stuff… Everyone is different, it’s not one size fits all and I just felt that this was the right thing for Selwyn, to have a break. He’ll be playing in a Maroon jersey again before we know it.”

The Maroons will face the Blues in Game II of the 2024 State of Origin series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground next Wednesday night.


1. Reece Walsh (Brisbane Broncos)
2. Xavier Coates (Melbourne Storm)
3. Valentine Holmes (North Queensland Cowboys)
4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (The Dolphins)
5. Murray Taulagi (North Queensland Cowboys)
6. Tom Dearden (North Queensland Cowboys)
7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
8. Reuben Cotter (North Queensland Cowboys)
9. Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons)
10. Lindsay Collins (Sydney Roosters)
11. Jaydn Su’A (St George Illawarra Dragons)
12. Jeremiah Nanai (North Queensland Cowboys)
13. Patrick Carrigan (Brisbane Broncos)
14. Harry Grant (Melbourne Storm)
15. Moeaki Fotuaika (Gold Coast Titans)
16. Felise Kaufusi (The Dolphins)
17. Kurt Capewell (Warriors)
18. Dane Gagai (Newcastle Knights)
19. Heilum Luki (North Queensland Cowboys)
20. Trent Loiero (Melbourne Storm)

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The post State of Origin: Slater leans on veterans as Maroons look to seal series first appeared on The Sporting Base.

The post State of Origin: Slater leans on veterans as Maroons look to seal series appeared first on The Sporting Base.