Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott is out of this year's State of Origin with a knee injury.
Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott is out of this year's State of Origin with a knee injury. MICHAEL CHAMBERS

Maroons coach has plenty of options to replace Cowboys prop

QUEENSLAND coach Kevin Walters has nominated no less than five players who are in the running to replace Matt Scott in his Origin side.

With the Cowboys enforcer sidelined for the season thanks to an ACL injury, the Maroons are missing 233 games worth of first grade experience.

In need of a prop to fill the void, Walter's isn't short of options.

Roosters prop Dylan Napa is the logical choice with Walters admitting he would've made his Origin debut in 2016 if not for breaking curfew while in camp with the Emerging side and subsequently being deemed ineligible for selection.

Now several others have thrown their hats into the ring with five men vying for the vacancy.

"Dylan Napa probably would've played last year if not for his suspension," Walters told foxsports.com.au.

"(Korbin Sims) Simsy has come along well and is playing some good footy.

"Coen Hess is playing well. The two Kaufusi boys - one at Melbourne (Felise) and one at the Cowboys (Pat). They're all young fellas coming through.

"There's a couple other at Melbourne like Tim Glasby. He started with Jesse Bromwich out so that's always a big help. Whoever puts their hand up from those guys, that's where it'll come from."

While Hess isn't a forward, that won't hinder his chances for selection.

At 20, Hess has only played 11 NRL games.

But he's already scored seven tries, averages 86 running metres and 55 minutes per game.

The Cowboys back-rower is very much in the mix to make his Origin debut this year with Walters having the luxury of playing someone like Sam Thaiday up front to create a space in the backrow.

It's a role Thaiday has played before and gives the Maroons coaching staff options due to Thaiday's versatility.

"Sam's pretty flexible with the way he played on the left edge for us last year," Walters explained.

"Sam will be in there but how we use him will be something we have to come up with.

"I was really happy with how he played for us last year and he's playing on the left for the Broncos but we're fortunate with guys like Sam who are flexible with where they can play."

News Corp Australia


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