Spotlight shines on Welch ahead of Maroons debut
RUGBY LEAGUE: All eyes are on Gladstone product Christian Welch as he prepares for his debut in a Maroons jersey tonight.
The Melbourne Storm prop was selected to be part of the Game 3 decider against the Blues at ANZ Stadium.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters told Fox Sports Australia Welch was too good to be overlooked.
"Everyone has seen what he is doing in club land,” Walters said.
"He is one of those guys we just couldn't leave out.”
Just two months ago, Welch was involved with an injury scare during the Storm's 24-22 win against the Tigers.
It was feared Welch ruptured his ACL, meaning an early end to his season - destroying any chances of being selected with the Maroons.
However, scans revealed it was just meniscus damage and the 24-year-old was only sidelined 4-6 weeks.
After the diagnosis, Welch was in disbelief regarding the news - so he went out and purchased 12 Lotto tickets.
"After crying my eyes out all night I've just had the most amazing news,” Welch said on Twitter.
"Misdiagnosed ACL tear only meniscus damage so will be back 4-6 (weeks).
"In disbelief, just bought about 12 Lotto tickets.”
Initial news of the injury had an impact on Welch's wellbeing.
"I didn't sleep that whole night,” he told The Courier-Mail.
"Mentally, I thought I had done it but then I had some great news the next day.
"It's been a bit of an interesting six weeks.”
Welch was informed he made the team while he was in the car.
"My dad was in Melbourne and I was just about to drop him back to the hotel when the call came through at about seven at night,” Welch said.
"It was a really special moment to be there with my dad in the car.
"(He) was doing fist pumps trying to not make any noise.”