Somewhat surprisingly, after just one series loss after eight straight wins, there is talk of Mal Meninga turning to the next generation of superstars in Origin three.
Although I severely doubt there will be sweeping changes, surely a dead rubber Origin game is the perfect place to blood the stars of the future.
One enforced change will see Brent Tate replaced on the wing, after yet another horrible injury all but ended his representative career.
There has been suggestions that Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston are no longer the best options in their positions and should be replaced.
Honestly, the majority of this side has put together eight straight Origin victories, and after a series loss that came with scores of 12-8 and 6-4 I don’t see a reason to enforce mass changes on the side.
I do however believe this is a good chance to blood two or three players that QLD consider long term options.
One of the more obvious future Origin selections comes in the form of Canberra fullback Anthony Millford. The future Bronco has been a revelation in the nation’s capital and has experts calling upon his selection off the bench for Origin Three.
Billy Slater’s name has been mentioned as making way, allowing Milford to come into the side, although if they’re going to drop Slater, surely it has to be to allow Greg Inglis to shift to fullback.
Milford’s best hope looks to come in the form of the bench. He can cover fullback or five-eighth should anything go wrong. Will play Origin in the future regardless of his selection status for the final game of this series.
Another being talked up is young Bronco Dale Copley. For mine he is the front runner to replace the injured Brent Tate. Although he plays on the opposite side to Hodges at club level, he would have trained outside the superstar many times.
Daniel Vidot, who plays outside Hodges week to week, has also been mentioned in the media as a possible replacement for Tate.
He would need to pledge his allegiance to Queensland and Australia after representing Samoa in the past.
Although Vidot has had a solid season, I’d consider Copley a far more likely selection. Milford could also play on the wing. Will Chambers could also fill in if needed.
The most surprising selection could come in the form of Bronco’s halfback Ben Hunt.
His form has been such this season that he has gone from fringe first grader to possible Origin selection. Some say he was unlucky not to be selected in a utility role for Origin Two.
Daly Cherry-Evans failed to live up to expectation in Origin Two after the injury to Cooper Cronk, however DCE is still the long term option.
Hunt may find himself coming off the bench depending on Cronk’s injury status. Thurston won’t retire before the end of the series, however it may be his last game for QLD.
Copley is a near certainty, with either Hunt or Milford to come off the bench. Mass changes would be a huge over reaction to a nail biting series loss.
QLD will want to win Origin three, there’s no such thing as a dead rubber in this arena.