State of Origin Player Profiles: The Benchies
Nick Fray, Origin Online and Over the Line Sports
We’ve looked at all the starters for tonight’s big game, but these eight men will have their say at some point as well. Here’s a quick look at tonight’s interchange players, starting with the Queensland quartet.
Jacob Lillyman, New Zealand Warriors: Not the biggest name but he’s played well for the Warriors in recent times and has a bit of Origin experience. Should bring a little bit of extra grunt to the Maroons’ engine room.
Aidan Guerra, Sydney Roosters: It has emerged in the last few minutes that he will start ahead of McQueen. Very impressive on debut and he can cement a long-term spot with another big performance here tonight in the back row.
Ben Te’o, South Sydney Rabbitohs: While it hasn’t been Teo’s best year, the Maroons selectors are sticking by him and he was a bright spark off the bench in Game One. Can set up a big second half of the year if he gets it going in such a big game tonight.
Dave Taylor, Gold Coast Titans: ‘The Coal Train’ gets another crack at Origin level after some cracking recent performances at club level. He will be desperate to have a big impact tonight to get his career back on track, but how many minutes will he play?
And the Blues…
James Tamou, North Queensland Cowboys: Is having a better year for the Cowboys this season and did nothing wrong when thrust into the Blues starting lineup for Game One. Should see healthy minutes again tonight.
Anthony Watmough, Manly Sea Eagles: The fact he’s playing Origin with a torn bicep is a testament to just what a tough old warhorse Watmough is. Hopefully it doesn’t hurt his performance but his attitude cannot be questioned.
Trent Merrin, St. George Illawarra Dragons: Merrin is unlikely to see the big minutes he does at club level but they won’t lose anything when he is injected into the game. Will be a mainstay of the Blues pack for years to come.
Luke Lewis, Cronulla Sharks: The veteran utility has played very little football this year and didn’t have a whole lot to do in Game One. With that said, he will be more than up to any task that is asked of him tonight, even if he has to fill in somewhere in the backline.
That’s all – enjoy the game everyone!