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League: One debutant in Maroons squad

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Latest Rugby League News | Tuesday May 28 2013 5:28

League: One debutant in Maroons squad

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The Queensland State of Origin selectors have named one new face in their squad for next week's series opener in Sydney.

Rabbitohs hardman Chris McQueen will make his debut, after being named on the interchange for the match.

Maroons coach Mal Meninga says he's a talent.

"Chris has been part of our system for two years. I've had the pleasure of coaching him in the Prime Minister's XIII as well. He's having a fantastic couple of years under Michael Maguire and I think he adds a new dimension to our team."

Winger Darius Boyd has been named but Melbourne flyer Justin O'Neill is standby if Boyd's ruled out by an ankle injury.

Meninga is hopeful he'll still be able to start Wednesday week against New South Wales.

"We'll give Darius every opportunity to play. He's got a badly bruised ankle area so hopefully with a lot of treatment early in the week he'll be ok towards the end of the week."

The team will allow five-eighth Johnathan Thurston to make the decision over his availability for the series opener next Wednesday.

Thurston's wife is expecting a baby in a fortnight, with Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans included as cover.

Meninga says they're relaxed if Thurston is unable to play.

"We'll give him that liability. It's his decision what he want he wants to do. Daly's in there to cover just in case it does happen but in retrospect also, he deserves his opportunities at some stage I think through the series."

Former Junior Kiwi Josh Papalii has been included on a six man bench.

Blues utility Kurt Gidley has been ruled out with an ankle injury and a replacement will be named today.

Photo: Getty Images

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