Six Maroons facing axe for Origin Game 2
QUEENSLAND are set for their most ruthless Origin overhaul in 15 years as Kevin Walters wields the axe in a bid to save the series.
With NSW 80 minutes away from claiming the shield on home turf next Wednesday, Walters is ringing the changes with rookies Val Holmes, Coen Hess and shock bolter Tim Glasby coming in alongside Maroons masters Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston.
Making way are the likes of veteran props Nate Myles, Jacob Lillyman, out of form pair Justin O'Neill and Aidan Guerra, and Broncos duo Sam Thaiday and Corey Oates.
Not since 2002 have Queensland made six changes mid-series, but the mass revamp expected to be announced by chairman Bruce Hatcher will see a vastly different 17 run out at ANZ Stadium next Wednesday.
Slater's return will shift Darius Boyd elsewhere in the backline, with O'Neill to cop the axe after being embarrassed by Jarryd Hayne two weeks ago.
Either Dane Gagai or Boyd is tipped to fill the left centre void, while blockbusting winger Corey Oates has also been sensationally dumped in order for Test winger Val Holmes to make his Origin debut.
Up front veterans Myles and Lillyman see their tenures come to an end, though the latter may yet earn a reprieve should rookie Jarrod Wallace be ruled out due to suspension.
Titans prop Wallace must beat a one-game shoulder charge suspension at the judiciary to claim an expected debut.
Any bid to overlook Wallace in Queensland's initial squad, allowing him serve his ban in the Titans' Friday clash with South Sydney before being brought into camp, is bound to be met with outcry from south of the border.
Star five-eighth Thurston will return to the No. 6 jumper, while Cowboys teammates Gavin Cooper and Coen Hess are also in line for inclusion after the Maroons pack was manhandled in game one.
Two brutal performances from 114-kilo wrecking ball Hess since the Blues 28-4 demolition at Suncorp Stadium have him set for a bench berth, along with 28-year-old Melbourne workhorse Glasby.
With Guerra and Thaiday both on the outer their Origin careers are now in serious jeopardy, with 33-year-old, 29-game Queensland fixture Thaiday's effectively over.
The most changes ever made to a Maroons line-up in the middle of a series is six, once in 1984 and again in 2002.
But with only Anthony Milford (dislocated shoulder) the only injury-enforced change this time round, Walters is putting the broom through his side as the greatest period of interstate dominance goes on the line.
Predicted Queensland side: Billy Slater, Val Holmes, Will Chambers, Dane Gagai, Darius Boyd, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk, Dylan Napa, Cameron Smith (C), Josh Papalii, Gavin Cooper, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire. Interchange: Michael Morgan, Coen Hess, Jarrod Wallace (pending judiciary), Tim Glasby