INJURY NEWS: Queensland key player suffered carer ending injury……

State of Origin Game 2: QLD Maroons forced to make changes, call made on Walsh

The Queensland Maroons have confirmed their squad for Game 2 of the 2024 State of Origin series.

It had been claimed coach Billy Slater wouldn’t make any changes other than the neccessary, but he has made two changes on the interchange bench for Game 2 in Melbourne – a clash which could potentially lead the Maroons to an unassailable lead in this year’s series.

Both J’maine Hopgood and Selwyn Cobbo – who played such an important role as a back off the bench in Game 1 – are out.

In their place are Felise Kaufusi, who was 18th man for the series opener, and Origin veteran Kurt Capewell.

Hopgood is believed to have a back injury, while Cobbo is understood to have picked up an injury on Friday evening for the Broncos, but there are no guarantees that is the case.

Capewell will fill the shoes if any of the backs go down for the Maroons, with both players bringing a wealth of experience to the Maroons’ bench.

Maybe the biggest call to be made was on fullback Reece Walsh, who was wiped out by a Joseph Suaalii high shot in Game 1.

The tackle left Walsh concussed and Suaalii sent off. The Broncos’ fullback is yet to return to the field following that tackle, but has been picked for Game 2.

It’s understood Walsh still needs medical clearance to play.

Dane Gagai is the 18th man, while Heilum Luki and Trent Loiero round out the Queensland squad which is otherwise unchanged from the series opener.

Game 2 will be played on Wednesday, June 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with kick-off set for 8:05pm (AEST).

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