QUEENSLAND coach Mal Meninga says Broncos halfback Ben Hunt is poised to make his Origin debut, even if Daly Cherry-Evans is passed fit to play tomorrow night.
Hunt, 24, has called into an extended squad Queensland squad as cover for Manly’s Cherry-Evans, who is still in some doubt with an ankle injury. However, Meninga hinted this morning that the Broncos star may still play off the bench, even if Cherry-Evans passes an injury test this afternoon.
“DCE (Cherry-Evans) will go through the session today; we’ll test him out, certainly in defence as well . . . he’ll be running,” Meninga says.
“If DCE plays we’ve got to look out our bench . . . in my mind I’d like to go with four forwards but if DCE plays and there is some doubt on whether he might get through the game, we’ve may have to take Ben into the game, too.”
Despite being uncapped in the Origin arena, Meninga says he has full faith in Hunt, who has had a breakout season in 2014 after being moved permanently to halfback by Broncos coach Anthony Griffin.
“He’s (Hunt) got a lot of faith and self-belief from the club and his coach from the Broncos,” Meninga says.
“If he does play (on Wednesday) he’ll be in a good mindset . . . and will be ready to go.”
Meninga also confirmed that stars Billy Slater and Greg Inglis have overcome their injuries and are likely to line up at ANZ Stadium.
“We’ll just see how Greg will get through the session today, but I’m pretty confident that he’ll play,” he said.
“Billy’s playing obviously.”