Queensland national team manager Billy Slater expects to have Cameron Munster and Kalyn Ponga on deck for the State of Origin series decision, but the Maroons will be without the services of Felise Kaufusi.
Most important points:
- Kaufusi is in the United States to be with his ailing father
- The Maroons Have Confirmed Reuben Cotter Will Miss Origin III
- Billy Slater Says Munster “Should Be Okay” To Play In Series Decider
Kaufusi has traveled to the United States to be with his ailing father.
He missed the Melbourne Storm’s loss to Manly on Thursday and will not be named in Slater’s roster on Monday, ahead of Origin III on July 13 in Brisbane.
“There will be one change in our team,” Slater told the Nine Network.
“Unfortunately, Felise has a family illness and will not be making the trip back for the game.
“I spoke to Felise before he went to America and we didn’t talk about playing in the game.
“We had a meeting yesterday and there is still some uncertainty and the priority is his family.
Slater has a wide range of options at his disposal, led by Jaydn Su’A of St George Illawarra.
Gold Coast duo David Fifita and Beau Fermor loom as options, as do Canberra’s Corey Horsburgh and North Queensland back rower Tom Gilbert.
Slater – who also has the option to move Tino Fa’asuamaleaui to an edge and start Patrick Carrigan or Jai Arrow in the middle – confirmed Reuben Cotter would not be fit to play.
The good news for Slater is that Ponga and Munster are expected to play after missing their respective club matches this week.
Five-eighth Munster has a shoulder injury and fullback Ponga has suffered a concussion at Origin II in Perth.
“He [Munster] should be good,” Slater said.
“Kalyn will go through the… [concussion] processes. If I talk to Kalyn, he should be fine.”