Matt Gillett looks to avoid getting Maroons cut

BRISBANE back-rower Matt Gillett is fighting to retain his Maroons jumper and needs a blinder in Friday night's blockbuster NRL Queensland derby to remind state selectors why he's played the last nine Origin games.

Despite the Broncos riding high on top of the ladder, the form of Gillett (pictured) has been down, leading to talk his place in the Queensland side could be under threat.

The 2010 NRL Rookie of the Year who hails from the same NSW country town of Macksville as Queensland star Greg Inglis, made his Origin debut in 2012 and has played every game since.

But Maroons selectors are understood to be keen on bulking up their bench this year after their eight-year winning streak came to an end.

Gillett's teammate Josh McGuire is a hot tip to make his Origin debut on the bench, along with Warriors forward Jacob Lillyman, who is now a favourite of Maroons coach Mal Meninga.

Daly Cherry-Evans will get the utility spot, leaving just one other position between Gillett, Josh Papali and possibly Dave Taylor.

Gillett's number of line-breaks and try-assists are down compared to this time last year and so has not had the same impact, although Brisbane's structure has changed under Wayne Bennett with the addition of Adam Blair to the pack.

A big game against an in-form Cowboys side in Townsville would help Gillett's case though with Queensland selectors to name their squad on Monday.

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Brisbane forward Corey Parker said the Cowboys were entitled to be favourites to win the premiership.

Brisbane dusted North Queensland 44-22 earlier this year but accept the Cowboys were far from their best in that round-three encounter.

"I believe they are the form team in the competition," he said. "They'd remember that game earlier this year ... (so) it's a massive challenge for us. We've lost our last few up there."

McGuire will be a big loss for Brisbane after the club opted not to fight a grade-one dangerous throw charge.

"Josh is great for us in terms of his high work ethic and he'll be sorely missed, but we have a fair guy to step into his shoes in Sam Thaiday, who will do a great job after missing last week (with suspension)," Parker said.

Parker said he was not surprised by the rapid improvement made by Cowboys No.6 Michael Morgan after spending time with him during the All Stars weekend earlier this year.

He also said former Bronco teammate Jake Granville had made a big difference to the Cowboys' attack.

"When he was here he was very quick off the mark and he's certainly made a dent in a few teams this year and adds a lot of spark," he said.