Key session has Maroons primed for Origin opener
QUEENSLAND will field a full-strength team in Origin I after injured trio Daly Cherry-Evans, Moses Mbye and Jai Arrow were cleared to face the Blues this Wednesday at Suncorp Stadium.
The Maroons completed their most important session Sunday night without a drama with Cherry-Evans, Mbye and Arrow all training strongly in an hour-long hit-out with Intrust Super Cup side Ipswich at Davies Park.
Cherry-Evans underwent ankle surgery just five weeks ago and hasn't played since round seven, while Mbye (groin) and Arrow (quad) missed the final round of NRL action last week before the naming of the Queensland side.
But Queensland doctor Matt Hislop said he was confident the key trio would run on to Suncorp Stadium in a huge boost for the Maroons as they seek to hit back from last year's 2-1 series loss to the Blues.
"Touch wood, we're OK," Hislop said.
"This is usually our bogey training day, but we're expecting to field a full-strength team.
"Everyone trained … everyone is looking well on track for the game on Wednesday night.
"We had a few guys coming into camp who were concerns but we are really happy with how everyone is going."
Arrow was on restricted duties earlier in the week but he ran comfortably against the Jets, while Mbye received the green light to make his Origin debut in the Queensland No. 14 jumper.
"Moses was never a huge concern," Hislop said.
"The Tigers pulled him out more as a precaution (against Souths last Saturday week).
"Jai had a low-grade quad strain but he has done really well, he trained fully."
Hislop has been blown away by Cherry-Evans' recovery. The new Queensland skipper was originally expected to miss Origin I, but has accelerated his recovery by three weeks thanks to round-the-clock rehabilitation.
"It looks like Daly will be fine," he said.
"It will be five weeks on Wednesday night from when he had the surgery, so that's pushing the envelope but Daly is a remarkable athlete.
"He does everything to look after himself, he has been working hard with Rob Godbolt our physio and he has turned it around, he is looking really good.
"I certainly had my concerns (about Cherry-Evans' fitness) coming into camp but he has ticked every box.
"We are very happy with how he is looking. The normal turnaround would be seven to nine weeks, we are talking five for Daly. It's been done before, Kieran Foran did it, so it's possible, but it's pushing it."
Queensland's training session wasn't the smoothest hit-out. They made four errors in the opening 15 minutes - Dane Gagai and Felise Kaufusi dropped balls coming off their tryline - but no injuries means no problems for the Maroons.